This project stems from the need to develop a methodology to produce a detailed national assessment of the potential climate change impacts on the hydrological yields of the different hydro-climatic zones of South Africa. The process to address this relies on the production of appropriate scenario projections for the short, medium and long term. These projections are used to assess the impacts of climate change in the different zones, taking into account non-climatic factors. This will enable an assessment of the hydrological response to climate change impacts. The climate scenario projections address scale and resolution issues by investigating point versus gridded data, level of resolution and methodology of downscaling. The project utilizes a wide range of projections, from the full suite of GCMs available from CMIP5 archive, to high-resolution (8km) dynamical downscaling simulations performed with a stretch-resolution GCM at CSIR, to stochastic statistical downscaling simulations of CMIP5 and RCM output directly to quaternary catchment level. The selection of scenarios for further modelling is based on analyses performed using the current analytical paradigms and understanding of information content and representation of uncertainty within multi-model, multi-method multi-scenario ensembles. Appropriate short, medium and long term adaptation strategies will be recommended to address projected climate change impacts as well as a training programme to capacitate DWS climate change staff.


Time Frames: Research commenced in April 2018, to be finalized in March 2021.

Funders: Water Research Commission (WRC)

Partners: University of Witwatersrand, Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Centre for Water Resources Researcher (CWRR).

For further details: contact Piotr Wolski