Climate change threatens African rivers Nile and Limpopo

Climate change threatens African rivers Nile and Limpopo

As stated by the other day Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the growth in global temperature and the displacement of precipitation observed in recent years, may affect the water balance of the largest African rivers, the Nile and Limpopo. The study group of scientists has revealed serious problems in the countries included in the Limpopo River Basin, including the portion in Botswana and South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Now through this region is the river bed is almost dry. Therefore, as noted in the report produced by the International Forum on Water and Food in Pretoria, further climate change may lead to the emergence of regional conflicts between the two countries on water use.

Results of a study on the prediction of the experts group, showed that if the hot weather without significant rainfall will last until 2050, the population of this part of the continent of Africa could face a shortage of food and the spread of poverty.

"We need to ask how the strategy of agricultural development in the Limpopo basin, which are based on the current data of the water level in the river, consistent with the actual conditions in the region", — said Simon Cook, one of the scientists involved in the project. "In some parts of the Limpopo even widespread adoption of innovative technologies, such as drip irrigation, is not sufficient to overcome the negative effects of climate change on water resources", — he added.

As far as the Nile, the researchers predict that the increased evaporation of water can "reduce the water balance of the upper Blue Nile Basin." This may affect the tightening regional negotiations on river management, which are already in the last few years have been strained over the plans of building new dams Ethiopia.

Thus, as noted by Alan Vidal, director of the Water and food, our understanding of the negative effects of climate change on river basins, may influence the need for revision of the current assumptions about the amount of water in the rivers in the near future.

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