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The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy announced the formation of the Ethiopian Water Development Engineering Corporation which will replace the Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise, on January 12, 2014. The new organization will have a different and more complex mandate from the former enterprise as it will have more say in the construction of roads and buildings in the city.
Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy said that the mega projects that are being performed in the country as part of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) necessitated this move as they were straining the country’s hydraulic engineering, construction control and contract administration capacity.
The corporation was formed after a research team of five studied the best practices of South Africa, China, Japan, Israel and the USA for a period of one year, according to State Minister Hailemeskel Tefera at the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction.
“First we studied the internal problems of Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise and Federal Water Works Construction,” said the state minister. “Then we looked at supporting organizations like The Ethiopian Mapping agency. Finally we observed our interaction with organizations we work with like the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture, finding out what they need just before we left.”
The current enterprise will be dissolved and restructured into the corporation under the leadership of Hailemeskel, who was also the leader of the research in the next three months. Along with the increase of power for its new incarnation, there is going a complete change in the human resource and hierarchical structure of the company.
The state minister continued that the new organization will be working closely with universities and private institutions that work in the sector to build its capacity.
“We aim to rectify all the faults of the current enterprise,” Hailemeskel stated. “Believe it or not 40pct of all the water produced in the country is wasted before it reaches the populace because of the inadequate distribution system. That is why our first objective is to increase efficiency.”
The corporation will also be working on developing the untapped water resources of the country in terms of design and construction, according to Shimeles Mulugeta, business development and contract management at WWDSE.  In relation to this, it will open hydraulic modeling centers where it will first test the designs it makes on a small scale before implementing them for real.
Irrigation technology is the third objective in the formation of the corporation. Hailemeskel said that the corporation will be importing technology that is compatible with the current system that the country uses in every way.
Ethiopia has 12 main river tributaries. Out of these 123 billion cubic meters comes from above ground and 40 billion from below, as per the Minister. However, he revealed that only 68.45pct  of the population used these resources in the previous fiscal year.
Only 300,000 hectares of irrigational land is being developed when the country has the ability to develop 3.75 million hectares.   The country produces 2,268 Mega Watts of electricity when it can produce 45,00o Mega Watts.
Alemayehu finished by saying that although Ethiopia’s development is much better than it was 22 years ago, a lot of work needs to be done in order to satisfy the population’s growing demand.