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Impacts of Climate Change on Stream Inflows into the Volta Lake

B. A. Amisigo
F. Y. Logah
E. Obuobie
K. Kankam-Yeboah


The study examined the impact of climate change on future water availability in the Volta Lake from climate downscaled data using ensemble projections of two Global Climate Models (MPEH5 and HADCM3) and two emission scenarios (A1B and A2) used in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The SWAT hydrological model was calibrated and validated and then used with the downscaled climate change data to assess the impacts of climate change on the inflows to the Lake. Results from the impact assessment showed that future mean annual streamflow into the Volta Lake could increase by about 17 and 16 percent under the A1B and A2 scenarios, respectively. However, streamflow from Geoere, Boromo and Dapola in the Black Volta basin and Nawuni in the White Volta basin could decrease. The projected increase in total annual streamflow in the basin is consistent with the increase in annual rainfall in the basin under both the A1B and A2 scenarios of between 2.0 and 8.0 percent obtained in a separate climate downscaling study. Since streamflow in some of the sub-basins were found to decrease under the climate change scenarios investigated, integrated and prudent management of the basin's water resources would be necessary to ensure sustainability in water use.