Ethiopia has 12 river basins with an annual runoff volume of 122 billion m3 of water and an estimated 2.6 - 6.5 billion m3 of ground water potential. This corresponds to an average of 1,575 m3 of physically available water per person per year, a relatively large volume. However, due to large spatial and temporal variations in rainfall and lack of storage, water is often not available where and when needed. Only about 3% of water resources are used, of which only about 11% (0.3% of the total) is used for domestic water supply. To ensure access to safe drinking water, the Compulsory Ethiopian Standard for Drinking Water Specification (CES58) outlines the physical, chemical, and bacteriological requirements for water for drinking and domestic purposes. Aligned with the new SDG targets, it defines quality and safety standards that conform to all the toxic, bacteriological, and organoleptic requirements.
Moreover, GTP-2, Ethiopia’s Second Growth and Transformation National Plan for the Water Supply and Sanitation Sub-Sector (2015/16 – 2019/20), defines the following standards for water accessibility and availability:
- Goal 1.1. Provide rural access to water supply that sets a minimum service level of 25 liters per capita per day (l/c/day) within 1 km from the water delivery point for 85 percent of the rural population, 20 percent of whom are reached by a piped system.
- Goal 1.2. Provide urban access to water supply with a minimum service level of 100 l/c/day for category-1 towns/cities, 80 l/c/day for category-2, 60 l/c/day for category-3, 50 l/c/day for category-4 up to the premises, and 40 l/c/day for category-5 towns/cities within 250 m, with a piped system for 75 percent of the urban population.