An assessment of impacts of climate change on available water resources and security in Cameroon
Water is the first sector to be affected by changes in climate. The prediction is that with climate change, the climate will be more variable with more intense storms which will increase the risks of flooding and droughts. Attaining and sustaining water security will therefore be more challenging than it has been up to now. The objectives of this paper were to determine the impact of climate change on water resources in Cameroon based on historical data; to predict the impact of climate change on water resources and on the water available per capita and to recommend changes required in water management to ensure and sustain water security in a changing climate. Statistical analyses were used to determine the trends and the variability in the rainfall and runoff of stations with at least 40 years of data. Projections were then made for internal renewable water resources for the various basins in 2025 and 2050 and the per capita available water resources calculated for each basin. The study concludes that during the period 1968 to 2006, the surface water resources in the northern part of Cameroon reduced by about 30 % while in the southern parts, the reduction was about 14%. However, up till the year 2050, there will still be adequate available water resources in all river basins even when the impacts of climate change are taken into consideration but there will be increased variability. To ensure water security under these circumstances, the construction of more water storage dams will be required.
Keywords: climate change, water resources, per capita available water, water security
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