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The impacts of climate change on regional water resources and agriculture in Africa


  • Strzepek, Kenneth
  • McCluskey, Alyssa


This paper summarizes the methods and findings of the hydrological assessment component of the project studying likely impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in Africa. The first phase of the study used a version of a conceptual rainfall-runoff model called WatBal (Water Balance) applied to gridded data to simulate changes in soil moisture and runoff across the whole continent of Africa rather than to any particular catchment or water resource system. The model inputs were the climate variables of the 1961-90 climatology and physiological parameters (such as soil properties and land use) derived from global datasets for each of the 0.5 degree latitude/longitude cells across the continent. The primary model output comprised a time series (monthly time step) of simulated runoff for all the grid cells for each of the districts in the countries of interest. The second phase of the study extended the hydrology analyses to update the above hydroclimatic series to the year 2000 using updated input data. To ascertain the possible impacts of climate change within the districts being investigated this study used synthetic or GCM-based climate change scenarios as input to the WatBal model. The WatBal model was used to determine the impact of these different scenarios on runoff and actual evaporation and hence flow in the districts under study. The generated hydroclimatic series and scenario analyses were used as inputs into various Ricardian regressions in other analyses measuring likely impacts of climate change on the agricultural economies of Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Strzepek, Kenneth & McCluskey, Alyssa, 2007. "The impacts of climate change on regional water resources and agriculture in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4290, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4290

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
    2. Braverman, Avishay & Hammer, Jeffrey S & Gron, Anne, 1987. "Multimarket Analysis of Agricultural Price Policies in an Operational Context: The Case of Cyprus," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 337-356, January.
    3. Heady, Christopher J. & Mitra, Pradeep K., 1982. "Restricted redistributive taxation, shadow prices and trade policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-22, February.
    4. Deaton, A., 1988. "New Approaches To Household Survey Data From Developing Countries," Papers 139, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2008. "Ethiopia - A Country Study on the Economic Impacts of Climate Change," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8030, The World Bank.

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    Wetlands; Climate Change; Water Supply and Systems; Global Environment Facility; Common Property Resource Development;

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