Tag Archives: water

“Climate variability affects water-energy-food infrastructure performance in East Africa” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “Climate variability affects water-energy-food infrastructure performance in East Africa” has just been published in the journal One Earth. The paper, led by Christian Siderius with other members of the UMFULA project team, including Katharine Vincent, highlights how climate variability is poorly understood in East Africa’s climate transition zone, where variability in rainfall is projected to increase. The implications of these projected changes in climate on infrastructure performance are poorly understood, with implications for the water, energy and food sectors.

graphical abstract

Infrastructure design should take into consideration the potential for changes in climate variability and recognise the limitations of planning on the basis of short time series of observations or projections. In the Rufiji basin in Tanzania and Shire basin in Malawi, a repeat of an early-20th century multi-year drought would challenge the viability of proposed infrastructure (dams). A long view, which emphasizes past and future changes in variability, set within a broader context of climate information interpretation and decision-making, is crucial for screening the risk to infrastructure and informing contingency planning to manage climate risk.

“Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs” New paper from the UMFULA project, led by Kulima

An output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just been published in Climate Services journal. "Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs" was led by Katharine Vincent, with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson, Joanna Pardoe and Neha Mittal. It is a methodological piece that unpacks the iterative process applied within UMFULA to determine what climate information would be of use to our partners in the water and agriculture sectors to better plan for the impacts of climate change over a 5-40 year period. It discusses how the choice and application of four existing social science methods (interview-informed role play workshop, open-ended interviews, prioritised surveys and enhanced surveys) arose out of, and was in turn embedded within, a different epistemological approach characteristic of co-production, and reflect on the evolution of our understanding of co-production as our assumptions were challenged, from the expectation that we would be able to “obtain” metrics from users, to a dynamic mutual definition based on better understanding of the decision-making contexts.

Kulima participating in new project “Bridging national strategy on sustainable development of water-energy-food systems to local scale needs in Malawi”

Kulima is proud to announce that we are part of a new project "Bridging national strategy on sustainable development of water-energy-food systems to local scale needs in Malawi" that has been funded by the GCRF Collective Programme 'Clusters’ Call to take place from June 2020-May 2021. The project is led by the University of Southampton with LEAD SEAFANRPAN, the Universities of Leeds and Manchester and Kulima Integrated Development Solutions, builds on three existing GCRF GROW projects – BRECcIA, AFRICAP, FutureDams – with the aim of enhancing equity of rural people’s key participatory roles in shaping and making policy work in order to bridge the gap between national scale priorities/strategies and gender-sensitive local scale needs, including environmental sustainability.

Kulima participating in UMFULA project writeshop in Pretoria

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week, joining colleagues Professor Andy Dougill from the University of Leeds and Professor Emma Archer from the University of Pretoria for a writeshop on the UMFULA project. As it comes to the end of its lifespan, they will synthesise key findings on climate information for medium-term planning in the water, energy and agriculture sectors for Malawi, taking into account the current policy and institutional context and information needs of the new National Planning Commission. 

UMFULA launches new brief projecting future water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin

The Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just released a new brief Projecting water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin. Led by Dr Ajay Bhave from the University of Leeds, the UMFULA research team has developed an open access water resources model (WEAP) that highlights potential future changes in Lake Malawi water levels and subsequent flows in the Shire River basin. Water availability has implications for energy (hydropower generation), food production (irrigation capacity) and environmental flows (for example through the maintenance of the Elephant Marsh wetland). Results indicate a range of potential futures, which illustrates the importance of adaptive decision-making approaches that are robust to uncertainty in supporting improved water management and infrastructure development in Malawi.


Kulima director in Kisumu for meeting of the GCRF project “Building research capacity for sustainable water and food security in sub-Saharan Africa”

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Kisumu in Kenya this week to participate in the a meeting of the "Building research capacity for sustainable water and food security in sub-Saharan Africa" (BRECcIA) project. BRECcIA is a four year project funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and led by the University of Southampton. It aims to develop research capacity across institutions in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana that is self-sustaining and focused on improving food and water security for the poorest of society. Katharine is a member of the strategic advisory board for the project.

“Climate change adaptation and cross-sectoral policy coherence in southern Africa” just published in Regional Environmental Change

A new paper, "Climate change adaptation and cross-sectoral policy coherence in southern Africa" has just been published in Regional Environmental Change. The paper is an output of the UMFULA project, and was led by Matthew England from the University of Leeds with Kulima director, Dr Katharine Vincent, as one of the authors. Using the cases of Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, the paper investigates the extent of coherence in national policies across the water and agriculture sectors and to climate change adaptation goals outlined in national development plans. Findings show that sector policies have differing degrees of coherence on climate change adaptation, currently being strongest in Zambia and weakest in Tanzania. Sectoral policies remain more coherent in addressing immediate-term disaster management issues of floods and droughts rather than longer-term strategies for climate adaptation. Policy coherence is more likely where there are cross-ministerial structures in place, for example Zambia's Interim Climate Change Secretariat. 

Kulima director in Malawi with other members of the UMFULA team

Lower ShireDr Katharine Vincent is in Malawi for the next 2 weeks, visiting Lilongwe, Mulanje, Blantyre and Chikwawa with other members of the UMFULA team. The "Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications" (UMFULA) project is part of the Future Climate for Africa programme, and concerned with climate services in Africa. Team members from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the University of Leeds, and the University of KwaZulu Natal will be continuing investigations into the political economy of decision-making contexts, interrogating priority climate metrics to generate user-relevant climate information, and seeking feedback and inputs to the the emerging design of a WEAP model for water resources under climate change for the Lower Shire basin. 

Kulima director participating in Future Earth Water-Energy-Food cluster project dialogue

sugar farmingDr Katharine Vincent is in Johannesburg this week to participate in a policy dialogue as part of the Future Earth Water-Energy-Food cluster project, hosted by the Water Research Commission and the University of KwaZulu Natal. The dialogue aims to review how the nexus approach applies to different sectors in southern Africa and, in particular, to determine the role of the nexus approach to support implementation of regional activities and the Sustainable Development Goals. It also aims to identify trade-offs and policy gaps to suggest future issues related to the W-E-F nexus in Africa. The policy dialogue follows on from a technical workshop which will critically assess evidence and both information and capacity building needs for the W-E-F nexus. 

CSAG and Kulima publish blog on Communities of Practice

COPsThe Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) and Kulima Integrated Development Solutions have published a blog on communities of practice. The project "Integrated Climate Change Modelling and Policy Linkages for Adaptive Planning" looked at certain projects within the IDRC-funded Climate Change and Water programme. As part of the aim to bridge the knowledge gap between scientists and policy-makers and planners, the blog investigates the circumstances under which communities of practice arise and, in particular, how donors might be able to support their development.

Source: CSAG