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Climate change implications for water resources in the Limpopo River Basin


  • Zhu, Tingju
  • Ringler, Claudia


This paper analyzes the effects of climate change on hydrology and water resources in the Limpopo River Basin of Southern Africa, using a semidistributed hydrological model and the Water Simulation Module of the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT). The analysis focuses on the effects of climate change on hydrology and irrigation in parts of the four riparian countries within the basin: Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Results show that water resources of the Limpopo River Basin are already stressed under todays climate conditions. Projected water management and infrastructure changes are expected to improve the situation by 2030 if current climate conditions continue into the future. However, under the four climate change scenarios studied here, water supply situations are expected to worsen considerably by 2030. Assessing hydrological impacts of climate change is crucial given that expansion of irrigated areas has been postulated as a key adaptation strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. Such expansion will need to take into account future changes in water availability in African river basins.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhu, Tingju & Ringler, Claudia, 2010. "Climate change implications for water resources in the Limpopo River Basin," IFPRI discussion papers 961, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:961

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beintema, Nienke M. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1998. "Educating agricultural researchers: a review of the role of African universities," EPTD discussion papers 36, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Gert-Jan Stads & Nienke M. Beintema, 2009. "Public Agricultural Research in Latin America and the Caribbean: Investment and Capacity Trends," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 33378, Inter-American Development Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2014. "Climate Change and Water Resources Planning, Development, and Management in Zimbabwe," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24096, The World Bank.

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    Climate change; hydrology; Irrigation; Limpopo River Basin; Water resources;

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