Understanding water quality & quantity in the Limpopo Basin

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

"The transboundary Limpopo River Basin crosses Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. At over 400,000 km2, the Limpopo River Basin is home to 18 million people living in both rural and urban areas. Industries in the Basin include businesses in the urban areas and water-intensive uses such as agriculture and mining; industrial water use is growing rapidly. In addition to the human residents, the Basin contains some of the most biodiverse natural areas on the planet."



WaterQ2 2019 USAID report
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"The rainfall in the Basin is heterogeneous with some sub-basins receiving less than 400 mm on average and other downstream sub-basins in Mozambique receiving over 750mm annually. Even meteorological stations located in close proximity demonstrate substantial spatial variation within sub-basins. TheBasin has experienced severe droughts in the last decade. In addition to the variation in the amount of rainfall, the timing, especially the start of the growing season, has varied significantly. However, there remain many questions about the reliability of rainfall data and other water measurements due in part to the infrequent calibration and validation of field site measurements. The limited confidence in these data, combined with the substantial variation through time and space necessitates an integrated approach to improve data collection, validation, and overall Basin water resource management in the Basin."


"The goal of this project is to build resilience through the support of Basin stakeholders, including The Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM), to improve governance around water resources management and water security in the Basin. A systems approach, such as integrated water resources management (IWRM) is needed to address such complex, large, and interrelated components of water resources. IRWM is recommended by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Water and Development Strategy Implementation Guide (2014). This context will be combined with data collection and validation, data sharing, and continuous evaluation of the interrelations that affect water resources."


"This project will support water resources monitoring, and the development of methods for water qualityandquantitymeasurementbasedoninsitusensorsandsatellitemeasurements. These measurements will enable characterisation of water resource dynamics at the whole Basin scale and form the foundation for hydrologic modeling that can help estimate hard-to-measure parameters and also provide holistic assessments of Basin scale stocks and flows. To support data sharing, the project will use cloud-based, automated data collection and web-based data sharing."


"The Development of local capacity to maintain water resources and make proactive, scientifically justified management decisions requires a substantial human capital resource that is currently lacking in the Basin."


"The project will provide training, workshops, and conferences will focus on integrated water resources management (IWRM) and environmental flow analysis. The results of the water resources and biodiversity studies conducted will be compiled into a report for the Basin stakeholders. Continued high-quality data collection, training, and general logistics depends on dependable physical infrastructure. To support data collection efforts as well as training and collaboration the Limpopo Resilience Lab at the University of Venda will be established. The sustainability of lab activity will continue with the implementation of a small user fee beyond the duration of the project. Annual training workshops and conferences will be located at or nearby the Resilience Lab."


"In this report, the collaborators report the convening and results of stakeholder meetings conducted in August2019. All of the collaborators were involved in these meetings:DuquesneUniversity (Duquesne), University of Venda (Univen), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The meetings included the University of Venda administration, Kruger National Park scientists, representatives from government agencies from Botswana and South Africa, and Endangered Wildlife Trust conservation workers."


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