Integrating climate change in water resources monitoring
Title: Integrating climate change in water resources monitoring in Zambia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within the Energy and Climate Fund (ECF)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development
Overall term: 2012 to 2017
Climate change is bringing more variable precipitation and temperatures to Zambia. Extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and heavy rainfall, are already being seen and will become more intense and frequent in future. The impacts of climate change are having a substantial impact on living conditions. Population groups such as women and the poor are especially hard hit, particularly in rural areas.
Greater climate variability also poses a challenge for all water uses. National institutions are aware of the possible impacts. However, stakeholders lack reliable information and analyses that would allow them to take action. Climate change has thus not been adequately taken into account when managing water resources to date.
Climate change is integrated more fully into water resources management.
The project with support of the consulting GFA provides advisory services to the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), which was founded in 2012. This advice focuses on the establishment of the water resources information system (IWRMIS) and the use of this system to integrate climate change into water resource plans and allocation. The programme also provides advisory support on cooperation with other stakeholders in this context and on the use of the information system and planning instruments in the Kafue catchment area as model projects with the support of the Consulting GFA.
The development of Zambia’s economy is heavily dependent on the sustainable and efficient use of the available water resources. Against this backdrop, reforms to water resources monitoring are to be carried out with the aim of improving planning and allocation. Adapting water management to the anticipated negative impacts of climate change at an early stage allows future conflicts to be prevented and available resources to be planned and allocated more efficiently. Water resources management plans provide a stronger basis for planning and greater sustainability for investments in irrigated agriculture, industrial water use and hydro power generation. This creates a favourable climate for investment and thus promotes the development of the country’s economy.
The project has supported the process of dividing the country into water catchment areas and sub-catchment areas, and accompanied the planning of an information system for integrated water resources management. These activities have helped lay the foundations for improved water resources management.
Studies about the Kafue catchment area drawn up as part of the programme have shifted the focus to meeting existing needs and preserving important eco-systems in the catchment area. The identified needs will be taken into account in the form of better water resources management in the future. The project therefore makes a significant contribution towards the conservation and sustainable use of water catchment areas.
The studies also evaluated the impacts of climate change on water availability. Forward planning allows water management to be adapted to the expected negative impacts of climate change in the future.