Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Sanaga basin

Contributing to the sustainable management of water resources throughout a major river in Cameroon

Artelia assisted EDC (Electricity Development Corporation) in setting up integrated water resource management (IWRM) in the fleuve Sanaga catchment area (960 km), which produces almost 70% of Cameroon’s electricity.

An institutional and legislative framework has been established to ensure that all water users have equitable access to the resource. It has been enhanced by the creation of a basin-wide water information system.


The Sanaga basin is a rural area with a large population that also generates most of the country’s hydroelectric power. It is therefore an area where the demand for water is high, and the implementation of IWRM is a welcome response to the challenges of sharing and protecting the resource. The approach was initiated with the launch of the Lom Pangar hydroelectric project, which, with the construction of a 6 Mm3 reservoir dam, will both increase Cameroon’s electricity production capacity and reduce seasonal fluctuations in the flow of the Sanaga river. The aim is to put in place a rational, equitable and sustainable management framework, in line with the national water sector reform process.

Artelia managed the development of this IWRM, which required both the modernisation of the water data collection system and the creation of a basin commission, with financial resources, skilled staff and appropriate tools. Our teams audited the existing information system and assessed the needs for modernisation. They then supported the creation of the Sanaga Basin Commission (CBS) by working on its various aspects (legal framework and investment and operating budget, operational organisation, technical roadmap, information and communication strategy, etc.). Several nationwide seminars have been organised to bring stakeholders together and establish a participatory operating mode.