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Facing a future water resources management crisis in sub-Saharan Africa

Hughes, D.A.
Journal of hydrology 2019 v.23 pp. 100600
climate, data collection, hydrologic models, planning, socioeconomic development, uncertainty, water management, water resources, Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa.Water resources availability assessments are highly uncertain due to inadequate observation networks, and this is expected to get worse into the future. This uncertainty is expected to increase in the future due to climate, environmental, population and other socio-economic development changes.This paper argues for a coordinated effort to provide improved water resources information by water scientists both within the region and from outside. It further proposes a unified approach based on hydrological modelling that incorporates realistic measures of uncertainty and that can be applied to the region as a whole using a common methodology. The concept is designed to make the best use of all available data sets, including local observations as well as emerging global data. The suggested approach has scientific credibility (based on previous studies), is technically feasible and offers a range of long-term benefits. The overall conclusion is that without a project of this type, water resources planning and management decisions in the region will continue to be based on inadequate information and unquantified uncertainties.