The SEI US Water Program, along with colleagues in the SEI Africa Centre, works with stakeholders throughout Africa to build water models that enable policymakers to explore management strategies and investments for an uncertain climate future. SEI researchers work closely with stakeholders to use these tools in pursuit of solutions that guarantee reliable water to support livelihoods, ecosystems, and economic activities and to protect vulnerable communities from water-related hazards such as floods and droughts.
Using SEI’s Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system, researchers have evaluated seven major river basins in sub-Saharan Africa: those of the Congo, Orange-Senqu, Niger, Nile, Senegal, Volta, and Zambezi rivers. Initial analyses evaluated a range of impacts on roads, hydropower, water use and irrigation under various climate scenarios — and informed recommendations for enhancing climate resilience in infrastructure development.
SEI researchers are now using these models to drill deeper into specific issues. In particular, the Orange-Senqu River WEAP model was adapted to evaluate climate change impacts on water security in Lesotho. Researchers then further refined the model to assess strategies for implementing climate smart agriculture in that country.
Other recent work includes using WEAP to evaluate approaches for meeting environmental flow requirements in the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania, and to assess the linkages between food, water, and energy in the Souss-Massa River basin in Morocco.
SEI built WEAP models for seven major river basins, enabling the exploration of policies and investments under various climate futures.
This study finds that the most resilient energy plan for the Eastern African Power Pool is one that assumes a slightly wetter climate than historical trends.
SEI Senior Scientist Brian Joyce explains the value of water models in an interview, the first in a series from the SEI US Water Program.
The Mara River is a crucial water source for farms, villages and ecosystems. Researchers and stakeholders are working together to ensure it remains sustainable.