Abstract

In any basin or basin country, water security is of critical importance. The increase in populations and water demand are placing stress on the available water resources. This is likely to become more complicated within shared water-courses. Issues of equitable water allocation and distribution are important for all countries involved. Fostering cooperation and managing conflict, hence, become fundamental in transboundary water management. Climate change is likely to add new challenges to pre-existing dynamics in transboundary systems. According to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Climate Change Strategy and the SADC Shared Watercourses Protocol, there is a need to integrate climate change impacts and associated adaptation measures into water management plans to ensure water security for all countries involved in the future. The Orange-Senqu basin which spans over Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana will be used as a case study to closely examine and reflect on some hydro-political challenges that may be brought about by climate change-associated impacts within the basin states. Although uncertain, climate projections largely indicate decline in rainfall and increase in temperature, especially within the South Africa part of the basin. This inherently is bound to affect water quantity and, therefore, availability within the riparian states below South Africa.

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