Water resources management in the context of future climate and development changes: a South African case study

  • S. K. Mantel, D. A. Hughes, A. S. Slaughter
  • Journal of Water and Climate Change, May 2015, IWA Publishing
  • DOI: 10.2166/wcc.2015.098

WRM under climate and development changes

What is it about?

Combined uncertainty in future climate and development scenarios has been modelled by this study for a South African catchment. The results provide insight into the implications on water availability and the role of demand management and planned infrastructure upgrades. The predicted deficits in available water are likely to be exacerbated by inclusion of environmental flows which are not in place today. Adaptive management and continued montoring are necessary to reduce the uncertainty in future changes.

Why is it important?

Most studies focus either on future climate changes or on predicted development growth to assess impacts on water availaibility. This is the first study in South Africa (and possibly in Africa) incorporating uncertainty within climate and development scenario modelling for understanding the implications on water availability through comparison of the resulting uncertainty.


Dr Sukhmani Kaur Mantel
Rhodes University

I think this study is very important in providing a comparison of individual impacts of either development or projected climate changes with combined impacts of both these changes for future planning. It suggests that our current emphasis on climate changes might be misplaced in some areas where development changes might outstrip climate changes in their impacts on water resources. A complementary paper on effects on water quality is in the works for publication.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Dr Sukhmani Kaur Mantel