Climate change means water change
Water resources are extremely vulnerable to global warming, which is bringing drastic changes to water quality, quantity and availability across the African continent. These changes are often felt through extreme events in the form of droughts, floods and coastal erosion caused by sea level rise.
Supporting climate change projects
The AWF is supporting projects that aim at building resilience to climate change and promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Many projects use cutting-edge and innovative solutions that can help countries overcome the new water-related challenges presented by climate change, and reduce pollution causing global warming.
As part of its climate change strategy, the AWF prioritises projects that feature water harvesting, conservation, storage, recycling and re-use, and the use of renewable energy to power water stations and infrastructure.
Climate adaptation: building climate resilience
The objective of many of the projects that receive AWF grants and technical assistance is to adapt to the effects of climate change. Typically this might include:
- Planning for the future effects of climate change by designing projects that tackle the current or predicted impacts based on climate models
- Supporting integrated water resources management (IWRM) projects to maximise the use of water resources, especially important for regions facing high water stress
- Supporting water knowledge and information projects for effective collection and dissemination of key water and hydro-meteorological information for planning and increased preparedness
- Supporting flood protection to reduce the impact of changing water patterns in coastal regions, river basins and urban areas where sanitation and water routing and supply are being adversely affected by climate change
- Supporting water storage projects to secure better access to water in areas at high risk of droughts for domestic use, drinking, agriculture and industry
- Supporting transboundary water resources management (TWRM) to foster regional partnerships for improved water resources management and avoidance of potential water conflicts
Climate mitigation: promoting green energy, reducing gas emissions
The AWF supports projects that propose the use of low-carbon energy for power generation to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming, or absorb CO2: Typically this might include:
- Promoting green energy using renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro etc.) for power generation, for example to power water pumping stations
- Promoting reforestation to prevent land degradation, promote water retention, and absorb CO2