Water Papers

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Water Papers are produced by the Water Global Practice, taking up the work of the predecessor Water Unit, Transport, Water and ICT Department, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency.

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    The Cubango-Okavango River Basin Multi-Sector Investment Opportunities Analysis: Summary Report
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12-01) World Bank
    The Cubango-Okavango River Basin is one of the world's most unique, near pristine free-flowing rivers, and central to sustainable economic development within the arid landscapes of southern Africa. The complex flood pulse cycle provides important services for local communities while supporting a rich and unique biodiversity that makes it a wetland of international importance and World Heritage site. However, the commitments to peace and prosperity among the three countries—Angola, Botswana, and Namibia—and the broader efforts of the Southern African Development Community to facilitate greater regional integration provide prospects for increased and improved development. The Multi-Sector Investment Opportunities Analysis is part of a systematic strategy by the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission, a body established in 1994 by Angola, Botswana, and Namibia, to promote coordinated and sustainable water resources management, while addressing the legitimate social and economic needs of the member states. The environmental integrity and long-term protection of the basin depends on addressing the underlying drivers of poverty. Accelerated environmental changes in the basin are largely driven by four factors—population dynamics, land use change, poverty, and climate change—leading to deterioration in water quality, changes in the flood pulse and diminishing biota. As a result, the risks associated with persistent poverty threaten the long-term sustainability of the basin.
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    Climate Resilience in Africa: The Role of Cooperation around Transboundary Waters
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06-27) World Bank Group
    Addressing water-challenges is central to building climate resilience. In Africa, all major waters are transboundary making cooperation on international waters critically important to building climate resilience. Regional-national coordination is needed if the full range of options for building resilience is to be considered. Furthermore, experience shows that cooperative action can outweigh transaction costs, bring about efficiency gains, and change behavior of cooperating countries to be more future-oriented, leading to an expansion of potential resilience benefits in the longer term. This report draws on a substantial body of empirical evidence from five major basins in Africa - including the Nile, Zambezi, Limpopo, Lake Chad, Niger basins - to support the critical role of transboundary cooperation on water resources management to building systemic resilience to climate change in Africa.
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    Lesotho WEAP Manual
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-02-08) World Bank
    This analysis looks specifically at the need to ensure continued development of water resources within Lesotho and aims to empower stakeholders to act with more confidence by demonstrating that the implementation strategies can provide benefits to water resources management over a broad range of possible future scenarios. The analysis quantifies a range of possible future conditions to demonstrate the benefits that can be realized over a broad range of possible future outcomes. This quantification is based on a water resource decision support model developed specifically for Lesotho, using the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model which couples climate, hydrologic, and water management systems to facilitate an evaluation of the uncertainties and strategies of impacts on specified management metrics. The WEAP model was used to simulate the historic climate based on data from the national government archives and global datasets available in the public domain. These included 121 downscaled Global Climate Model (GCM) projections of future climate over two possible water demand future scenarios, for a total of 244 scenarios up to the year 2050. The analysis concludes the following: (a)Climate change has important determinants for the future, long-term sustainable macroeconomic development of Lesotho: (b)Domestic and industrial water security is highly vulnerable under historical and current climate conditions, as well as under the full range of climate future scenarios; (c) Agriculture production will remain vulnerable to inter-annual variability over the coming decades, particularly with continued reliance on rain fed agriculture; and (d) The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) will continue to reliably meet transfers to South Africa over the coming decades unless climate conditions are about 5 percent drier or more than the historical record.