Climate change threatens Africa water

Nov. 14, 2011 at 3:29 PM

TSHWANE, South Africa, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Climate change in Africa's river basins could hamper the continent's farm transformation efforts and increase cross-border water conflicts, researchers say.

Climate shifts could significantly alter water flows on the already-stressed Limpopo, Nile and Volta river basins, delegates at this week's Third International Forum on Water and Food in Tshwane, South Africa, were told.

Scientists from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research examined the potential effect from now through 2050 of higher temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns on river basins around the world.

"Climate change introduces a new element of uncertainty precisely when governments and donors are starting to have more open discussions about sharing water resources and to consider long-term investments in boosting food production," Alain Vidal, director of the CGIAR's Challenge Program on Water and Food, said in a CGIAR release Monday.

"The new insights regarding the effect of climate change on river basins may indicate a need to revisit assumptions about water availability," Vidal said.

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