A new International Water Management Institute (IWMI) report uses models to develop projections of likely climate change impacts in the Volta River basin under various development scenarios.
The report highlights reduced precipitation, runoff and groundwater recharge will result in declining hydroelectric power generation and the inability to meet irrigation demand.
12 December 2012: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has released a report titled “The Water Resource Implications of Changing Climate in the Volta River Basin.” The report examines the consequences of increasing water demand and climate change on the Volta River.
The report uses several models to assess a “middle impact” climate change scenario on existing water uses within the basin, and projections based on four scenarios for water development within the basin. The outcomes of the modeling exercises project that by 2050 annual average rainfall, runoff and mean groundwater recharge will decrease, resulting in a 30% decrease in hydropower and inability to meet water demand for irrigation, under one scenario.
The report, which includes sections on the Volta Basin, methods, results, discussion and conclusions, suggests that in light of the uncertainties that climate change poses in the Volta Basin integrated planning is requires to increase resilience. The paper calls for cooperative management of the basin under the aegis of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and underscores that climate change requires the consideration of water in the context of water-food-energy nexus.
The Volta River is shared by Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali and Togo, and is the primary water source for a population of 24 million people. IWMI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [Publication: The Water Resource Implications of Changing Climate in the Volta River Basin]