The Limpopo River Basin (LRB) faces multiple pressures which threaten the livelihoods, economies, and ecosystems that rely on it. In this mainly semi-arid environment, rainfall is highly unreliable and its effects are short-lived. Climate change – evident in rising temperatures and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events – threatens to intensify the already limited water supply. Moreover, the basin faces pressure from increased water demand due to the ambitious economic development and growth trajectories of the riparian nations — Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Protecting the high altitude catchments is one way of keeping the LRB water flows open – a strategy that could yield high returns across the basin, including returns for downstream countries. Reversing land degradation and ensuring water quality are also important means of securing and protecting this vital resource.

Recommended Citation Petrie, B. and Chapman, A. (2014) Securing the future of the Limpopo River Basin: High impact responses to climate change. For the USAID Southern Africa “Resilience in the Limpopo River Basin” (RESILIM) Program by OneWorld Sustainable Investments, Cape Town, South Africa.

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