Climate Change Impacts on Hydrology in Africa: Case Studies of River Basin Water Resources
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There is a growing consensus that anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon. There is strong evidence that changes to the hydrological cycle have occurred and will continue to do so in the future. Given our dependence on water resources and ecosystem services associated with the river system, this means it is important that appropriate adaptation strategies are developed. Such policies require information on future behaviour of the climate system and impacts on surface hydrology at the river basin scale. This chapter presents two contrasting case studies from river systems in Africa, in which climate change impacts on hydrology are examined. The methodology of climate change impact assessment is described and critically examined with particular respect to quantification of uncertainties. Finally, the implications for water resource management policy are considered.
KeywordsSouthern Africa Hydrology River systems Water resources Ecosystem services Impacts Water resource management policy
The authors would like to warmly acknowledge the agencies that provide funding for the work described in this chapter. For the Okavango river the WERRD project was funded by the EU under the INCO-DEV programme. Subsequent work on hydro-climate has been undertaken within the UK NERC QUEST-GSI and through a NERC-Dorothy Hodgkin studentship, whilst the ACCORD project on Okavango delta biodiversity was funded by the UK DEFRA Darwin Initiative. The research on the River Mitano has been supported through the UK NERC QUEST-GSI project and a NERC studentship.
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