Important Environmental Issues:Water Management:

Much of Mali's climate is sporadic. Some places in Mali receive as much as 2000 millimeters of rainfall annually while others only 250 milliliters. Southern Mali receives the most rain while rainfall decreases as one travels north. eHRAF Mail contains over double the needed safe amount of fresh water per person in the country. Unfortunately, the uneven distribution of rain makes it so that less than half (46%) of the Malian population had access to potable water in 1992. Some of the northern regions of Mali have even less available water where as little as 8% of the population residing in Gao and Timbuctu has clean water. Mali's main economic base, agriculture, is hurt deeply by this and as such can only be practiced for a quarter of the year.Environment
Four Year Old Malian Gathering Water

Desertification and Deforestation:

Mali's expanding population is worsening the desertification and deforestation present in Mali. 93% of Malian's are using firewood as a primary source of energy. As such much of Mali's forests are being cut down. Current demographic trends suggest that firewood use will triple between 1987 and 2020. Malian cultivation techniques also lend to degradation of the soil. Overuse of farmland around permanent waterholes lower's the life expectancy of those water sources which will only lead to desertification of the area. This lack of water also creates problems with supplying enough electricity to Mali's ever-growing urban population. As Cities grow so do their energy demands, especially during the hottest parts of the year which, unfortunately, is also when energy production is at its lowest since most electricity is derived from the Selinguay Dam while water levels are low.Environment
Cattle around Malian watering hole