Africa is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In particular shortage of fresh water is expected to be the dominant water problem for West and Northwest Africa of the 21th century. In order to solve present and projected future problems concerning fresh water supply, a highly interdisciplinary approach is used in the book. Strategies are offered for a sustainable and future-oriented water management. Based on different scenarios, a range of management options is suggested with the aid of Information Systems and Spatial Decision Support Systems for two river catchments in Northwest and West Africa: the wadi Drâa in south-eastern Morocco and the Ouémé basin in Benin. The selected catchments are representative in the sense: "what can be learnt from these catchments for other similar catchments?
Highly interdisciplinary approach
Offers strategies for a sustainable water management
Case studies from two different catchments in Africa
How can Africa´s finite water and land resources be managed sustainably under the influence of Global Change so as to meet the growing needs of humans in ways that avert the looming crisis? The need to find answers to this question has taxed the brains of many scientists who recognize the urgency of these problems. The pressing water problems must clearly be tackled from an integrated perspective, taking into account environmental, human and technological factors and in particular their inter-dependence.
This is the approach adopted by the German GLOWA-IMPETUS project and presented in this book. It is based on the wealth of research results gained in two representative African watersheds: the Ouémé catchment in Benin and the Drâa catchment in Morocco. Interdisciplinary, application-oriented tasks were accomplished with the help of a unique mix of scientists from the social sciences, natural sciences, agricultural science and medicine. The book is organized as follows: Part I deals with the fundamentals and process understanding regarding all major aspects of the hydrological cycle. Part I forms the basis of Part II of the book, which focuses on future climate and socio-economic projections and on the decision support for the sustainable management of natural resources.
Fundamentals and process understanding, 1. Introduction, 2. Impacts of Global Change, 3. Regional Geography of West and Northwest Africa: An Introduction, 4. Measurement Concepts, 5. Atmosphere, 6. Continental Hydrosphere, 7. Biosphere, 8. Anthrosphere, 9. Summary
Future Projections and Decision support, 1. Introduction: The IMPETUS method, 2. The IMPETUS Spatial Decision Support Systems, 3. Scenarios, 4. Impacts of Global Change in Benin, 5. Impacts of Global Change in Southern Morocco, 6. Summary and Conclusions