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Handbook on adaptive management strategies and options for the water sector in South Africa under climate change

  • Adaptation
  • Drought
  • Extreme Weather Events

South Africa is characterised by a highly variable climate added to an already stressed water situation and an imperfect governance system. It became clear that projected amplification of the effects of climate variability and climate change on hydrological responses requires enhancement of the ability to respond to change. The authors maintain that adaptation and hence adaptive capacity call for the ability of responsiveness as well as a continual uptake of new information into decision making processes in order to evaluate the negative effects and potential benefits from climate change. Hence the predictive scenarios, indicating risk levels, for the biophysical changes associated with projected climatic change for climatically divergent catchments in South Africa were then developed under this project. The sensitivity and adaptive capacity of current socioeconomic activities to the biophysical changes associated with the projected climatic change were evaluated and quantified. While the likely socio-economic impacts resulting from biophysical changes associated with the projected climatic change were assessed by accounting for socioeconomic resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change. Also under this project, appropriate policy responses and mitigation strategies to assist communities in adapting to climatic change are proposed.

Solution characteristics

Protect, manage and restore wildlife and ecosystems to increase biodiversity and ensure the production of ecosystem services
Sub themes
Protect wetlands in order to increase biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services
Stakeholder group
  • River Basin Organisations (RBOs)
Pain reliever
  • Lack of data
  • Uncertainty
Gain creator
  • Strengthening predictive ability and adaptive capacity
Type of climate
Geographical scope
Social Innovation Dimension
  • Governance Structure
Societal challenges
  • Ecosystem Management
Solution Type
  • Product

Solution provider

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Saine Stuart-Hill

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