Managing for change: Practical Integrated Water Resource Management and Climate Solutions for the LRB
The Limpopo River Basin (LRB) and the four riparian countries it supports (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe) are under developmental and environmental pressure. Accelerated demand from socio-economic development and urbanization means more and more water is being drawn from a river basin system long since considered to be closed.
Pressure on the supply of water makes the LRB particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, both of which limit the ability of the basin to provide its key ecosystem service – the provision of clean water. Building resilience to climate-related and other shocks in the basin requires natural runoff into the rivers to be maintained and, wherever possible, increased.
The imperative for opening up the water flows to increase availability for allocation and for conserving already allocated water is strong — even without the impacts of climate change. Building resilience to climate change and other stress factors in the LRB will open water flows and conserve an already scarce resource. This imperative is increasing as development related activities accelerate in the LRB. Agriculture, industry, mining and urbanization are among those developments that are placing the most pressure on the LRB’s resources now – and are expected to continue into the future. Multi-pronged approaches are needed to build resilience.
To see more on the Resilience in the Limpopo River Basin (RESILIM) program and access the policy brief click here.