Re-thinking water storage for climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa

Published on 23 April 2010

Research Areas

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Timeline

Start Date: 1 April 2008 | End Date: 31 March 2011

Overview

Project – Water availability is a critical factor in determining the impacts of climate change in Africa. Increased water storage is widely promoted as a major component of adaptation strategies. However, to date there has been little systematic analysis of how climate change may affect existing water storage or how to account for climate change in the planning and management of new water storage.                              The primary aim of this project is to develop guidance on methods for better inclusion of climate change in the planning and management of the full range of agricultural water storage options. The guidance will encompass approaches to evaluating: • the socio-political, institutional and biophysical conditions under which various storage options should or should not be implemented  – when and where are they appropriate? • which investments in water storage improve resilience and reduce risk for farming communities – how are climate change issues best built into decision making? • How do people cope with current rainfall and water variability?  Key research questions are:                                               • How are different types of storage managed in terms of access, institutions and the distribution of benefits? • How is climate change being factored into plans for water and agricultural development?• How can the need for water storage and the effectiveness and suitability of different storage options be evaluated and compared for different climate scenarios? • How can water resource planning and management processes be modified to better account for the uncertainties arising from climate change? Research, encompassing both biophysical and scoio-economic studies  is being conducted in the Nile and Volta Basins

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