Research Themes

The centre contributes to specific water research areas in coordination with other national research centres or similar units established in the university or other universities in the country. Example of areas of research that of urgent priority to the country and are tackled by the center are briefly summarized as:

  • River and Coastal Hydraulics

This area of research covers many key topics of great importance and urgency for the country. Of great urgency are the ones that address the topics of river morphology where the knowledge base on river meandering, braiding, channel shifting, avulsion..etc still need further study and understanding (e.g. Gash River, Baraka stream, Nile in northern Sudan). Equally important topic of research is the hydraulic of river flows and rivers interaction with soil in terms of scour, transportation and deposition of sediments (e.g. Bed and Banks scouring and reservoir sedimentation) . Linked to this is the topic of river training and protection works which are important research fields where river engineers are always looking to train and/or protect river banks and structures constructed across, along and in the vicinity of running rivers and streams against scour.

Another important research area is the water shortage, control and regulator structures (hydraulic structures). This area covers a very wide field that includes dams, irrigation structures, drainage structures, protection structures, bridges..etc.

Research work is also needed in hydropower where now many hydropower projects are planned to be constructed across the Nile and some of its tributaries. It is also planned to extend the research work to cover coastal engineering. It is already known that the existing ports such as Portsudan and Sawakin are over loaded and new harbours are required especially for exporting of oil and other material. Research studies are required to study all the engineering aspects of the coastal zone on and off shore to allow for proper development of the coastal area.

    Hydrology and Watershed Management (HWM)

Most important research areas include:

    Rainfall-Runoff Modelling with emphasis on WadisHydrogeology and Groundwater Management
        Selection of Key- Wadi catchments
        Establishment of proper rainfall and runoff gauging networks in the Key- Wadi catchments
        Acquiring the satellite imageries for topography, drainage network, forestry and land-use
        Using the Geographic Information System (GIS) for data representation
        Development of Rainfall-Runoff Modelling Techniques for the Key- Wadi catchments
        Recommendation of the suitable Rainfall-Runoff Modelling Techniques for similar Wadi catchments
        The hydrological characteristics of Arid zone
            Rainfall, evaporation, evapo-transpiration, infiltration and water harvesting.
            Flood Forecasting and ProtectionHydrology of Droughts , preparedness and management
                Rehabilitation of Key-gauging stations in the Nile System
                Development of Flood Forecasting Techniques for the Nile System
                Recommendation of the suitable Flood Forecasting Techniques for the Nile System
                Recommendation of the suitable Flood Protection Techniques for the Nile System
                Development of a Flood Early Warning System for the Nile
            Water Harvesting
            Development and Improvement of Water Resources Management and Planning Tools
                Development and Assessment of Policy Scenarios for Water Resources Management
                Evaluation of the Ecological and the Economical consequences of the different Policy Scenarios of Water Resources Management
                Recommendation of the best Scenarios of Water Resources Management and Planning
                Providing a Decision Support System in Water Resources Management and Planning

Important Areas of research are:

    Assessment of groundwater resources in various groundwater basins using advanced methodologies.
    Options for groundwater development in Sudan.
    Assessment of natural groundwater recharge and possibilities of artificial recharge.
    Conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water.
    Groundwater protection from contamination.

    Irrigation and Drainage Design, Modelling, and Management

Most urgent research areas include:

    Importance of drainage systems for Blue Nile agricultural schemes especially Gezira and Managil schemes, considering design aspects as related to rainfall characteristics for the considered schemes regions.
    Use of crop water requirement data in:

                                     i.      Determination of capacities for different canals of an agricultural project and design of these canals.

                                   ii.      Indenting system for the operation of agricultural schemes.

    Water management aspects such as:

                                     i.      Use of “night storage system” versus “on-demand continuous flow”.

                                   ii.      Siltation and weed problems in canal system.

                                iii.      Water user associations(WUAs)

                                iv.      Irrigation water efficiency

    Automation of irrigation system for agricultural schemes.

    Water Supply and Sanitation

This is a very important research area which is closely linked to a key target of the MDG which aims towards reducing by 50% the population that lacks clean water supply and adequate sanitation by 2015. Regretably the second World Water Development Report of the UN system classifies Sudan as one of the countries that might not meet this target by 2015. None the less the Government is assisted by research and training institutes such as the Water Research centre to enhance the progress towards reaching that target even if that takes few years beyond 2015.

Some of the urgent topics of research should address:

    The assessment of needs and gaps of various parts of the country in order to achieve the MDG and other related goals (SDG)
    Preparing guide line for regular monitoring, assessing and updating of water quality and quality information necessary for decision making.
    Undertaking research projects and capacity development actions on specific topics related to the planning, designing, operating and managing water supply and sanitation system appropriate to various parts of the country.
    Undertaking research projects and training action related to water conservation, demand management, water re-use and desalination in relation to domestic water development and management.
    Transfer and adaptation of appropriate and innovative systems that proved success in similar situations in other parts of the world.

    Water Quality Management
        Water quality standards for different uses.
        Contamination transport and water quality modelling.
        Management of oil exploration produced water.

    Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

An integrated approach is required for the sound development and management of the scarce water of the country, taking into consideration the needs of this and future generations. This is in addition to the fact that the country shares its water resources with 15 neighbouring countries. Furthermore, it should be recognized that an important prerequisite for IWRM is a regular and comprehensive assessment of the country water resources including: Resource availability, various needs, governance, capacity development, socio-economics, legal aspects, environment, among other factors. Based on that information a rational IWRM model can be reached, considering the sustainability and the requirements of the present time and the future needs.

The following research areas in IWRM is given special focus:

    Surface and groundwater development, protection and management as linked entries to the IWRM of the country.
    Modelling tools for IWRM at the local, regional and national scale.
    Transboundary water studies and management models.
    Water resources assessment and management tools and guidelines

All of these research areas need competent support in the integrated water resources management approaches and transboundary issues, particularly input related to the environmental, socio-economical, and legal issues, from colleagues in other faculties of the university.