An Introduction to the ARCC Climate Change and Water Resources in West Africa Series
By Tetra Tech ARD
The Africa and Latin America Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) project prepared four reports to explore the impacts of climate change on groundwater, transboundary watersheds and coastal areas. This brief summarizes their findings and gives detailed recommended actions for each issue.
Groundwater. Demand has increased significantly since 2001 due to growing populations and efforts to improve availability of drinking water. Changes in the availability of surface water owing to climate change will likely further increase demands on groundwater.
Transboundary River Basins. West Africa has 11 major river basins that cross national boundaries. Equitable resource allocation and cooperation between upstream and downstream nations is a major concern. This cooperation can be accomplished through transboundary river basin authorities.
Coastal Vulnerability. Most of West Africa’s population lives along the coast, mainly in rapidly growing urban areas. Mapping the areas that are potentially vulnerable to climate change risks — and understanding the state of ecosystems, inhabited areas, as well as the possible future climate scenarios — can provide direction for development and planning.
Research and Institutional Challenges. The report urges more climate modeling of coastal ecosystems, particularly river deltas; research on likely climate impacts on fisheries and greater regional cooperation on related law enforcement; and regional collaboration on the lessons of urban planning.
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