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Water Security and Climate Change Adaptation in the River Nile Basin

DEV Key Contact: Marisa Goulden

Project Dates: October 2006 to April 2010

Project Status: Completed


The many internationally shared rivers in Africa provide vital water resources to highly vulnerable populations but face many barriers to adaptation to the impacts of climate change in addition to the increasing demand for water as populations continue to grow.

Tyndall Centre research in the River Nile Basin has examined the role of conflict and cooperation between the countries that share the basin in adapting to the impacts of climate extremes including floods and droughts and the possible impacts of future climate change. Uncertainty, on the one hand, over the direction and magnitude of changes in rainfall and river flows with climate change and, on the other hand, uncertainty over future sharing of water and cooperative arrangements by the Nile countries, has been cited by water resource managers in the basin as a key barrier to addressing climate change adaptation.

The latest research on this project examines perceptions of experts in three of the Nile Basin countries – Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda of the potential impacts of climate change and changing water sharing and water use patterns in the basin on water security, human well-being and adaptation needs.

DEV Researchers:

Marisa Goulden
Declan Conway

Selected Outputs:

Goulden, M., Conway, D. and Persechino, A. (2009a). ‘Adaptation to climate change in international river basins in Africa: A review', Hydrological Sciences JournalJournal Des Sciences Hydrologiques, Vol. 54, pp. 805–828. [also published as Tyndall Working Paper 127 ]

Goulden, M., Conway, D., (in press) Responding to floods in the Nile Basin: A case study of the 1997/98 floods in the Upper White Nile, in: Palutikof , J., J., K.D. (Eds.), Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change. . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.