event 11 Oct 2018

Publication // Climate and Southern Africa's Water-Energy-Food Nexus

By Declan Conway, Emma Archer van Garderen, Delphine Deryng, Steve Dorling, Tobias Krueger, Willem Landman, Bruce Lankford, Karen Lebek, Tim Osborn, Claudia Ringler, James Thurlow, Tingju Zhu and Carole Dalin. umerous challenges coalesce to make southern Africa emblematic of the connections between climate and the water-energy-food nexus which has important economic influence throughout the region. Physical and socioeconomic exposure to climate is high in vulnerable areas and sectors, such as agriculture, but also in energy generation and mining.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books tag Nexus Methodology tag Modelling and Assessment tag Climate tag Climate Change globe Africa globe Southern Africa
Modified version of the nexus framework of Hoff11 integrating global drivers with fields of action

Modified version of the nexus framework of Hoff11 integrating global drivers with fields of action, to illustrate the main timescales of climate as a driver in southern Africa. SADC, Southern African Development Community; SAPP, Southern African Power Pool.

Abstract

In southern Africa, the connections between climate and the water–energy–food nexus are strong. Physical and socioeconomic exposure to climate is high in many areas and in crucial economic sectors. Spatial interdependence is also high, driven, for example, by the regional extent of many climate anomalies and river basins and aquifers that span national boundaries. There is now strong evidence of the effects of individual climate anomalies, but associations between national rainfall and gross domestic product and crop production remain relatively weak. The majority of climate models project decreases in annual precipitation for southern Africa, typically by as much as 20% by the 2080s. Impact models suggest these changes would propagate into reduced water availability and crop yields. Recognition of spatial and sectoral interdependencies should inform policies, institutions and investments for enhancing water, energy and food security. Three key political and economic instruments could be strengthened for this purpose: the Southern African Development Community, the Southern African Power Pool and trade of agricultural products amounting to significant transfers of embedded water.

Water resources transfers (km3) through food trade in 2007. a, Among southern African nations; and b, with the rest of the world. Ribbon colours indicate the country of export. Data from refs 93–95.
Water resources transfers (km3) through food trade in 2007. a, Among southern African nations; and b, with the rest of the world. Ribbon colours indicate the country of export. Data from refs 93–95.

Published

August 2015

In

Nature Climate Change volume 5

Citation

Conway, D., van Garderen, E., Deryng, D. et al. Climate and southern Africa's water–energy–food nexus. Nature Clim Change 5, 837–846 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2735

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Climate and Southern Africa's Water-Energy-Food Nexus

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