Path 6 Copy 3 Created with Sketch.
Path 6 Copy 3 Created with Sketch.

As the boom in the construction of large dams in the post WWII era posed challenges of water allocation, environmental destruction and public debt (Molle et al 2009), a powerful array of scientists, investors, international development organisations, and political leaders increasingly rendered water scarcity as a ‘crisis of government’. There is now a wealth of studies which explore scenarios for alternative operation of irrigation and hydropower development projects along the Nile in terms of their outcomes for different ‘countries’ and ‘sectors’ (see Digna et al. 2016 for a review). There is little reflection on the continuous material discursive work that goes into the making of these categories and on how different actors in the basin engage in the projects studied however.

Interested in deepening the discussion about new Nile projects, the Nile Water Lab explores the engagements of water users, planners and researchers in multiple projects of river basin development. By experimenting with different theories and methodologies of representing river basin development experiences, we aim to open up new perspectives on the simultaneous transformation of the Nile water distribution, differences between its users and categories through which these are known.


The aim is not to integrate all concepts in one meta-framework in which all objectives for Nile development can be weighed and optimized, but to identify the stakes and possible alliances for more just irrigation investments in the fits and misfits of alternative knowledges of Nile basin development.

The Nile Water Lab enables you to maneuver through different representations of stakeholders’ experiences of new investment projects along the Nile.

The collection and interpretation of the information presented was a collaborative effort by engineers, ethnographers, remote sensing experts and web designers who worked with people in the Salam canal Project in Egyptthe Waha irrigation project in Sudan, the Beles irrigation project in Ethiopia, the Choke Mountains of Ethiopia and on Dams and Media along the Nile between August 2009  and May 2017.

We hope that your browsing will spark new ideas to forge alliances to define more just and sustainable investments in future projects.

Path 6 Created with Sketch.

Funded by