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Article

Hydroclimatic Extremes in the Limpopo River Basin, South Africa, under Changing Climate

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South African Weather Service, Private Bag X097, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield Pretoria 0028, South Africa
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Department of Information Technology, Central University of Technology, Free State Private Bag X20539, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
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School of Agricultural Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa
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Kenya Water Institute, P.O. Box 60013–00200, Nairobi, Kenya
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Global Change Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
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School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield Pretoria 0028, South Africa
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School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3299; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123299
Received: 16 October 2020 / Revised: 14 November 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
This research study evaluated the projected future climate and anticipated impacts on water-linked sectors on the transboundary Limpopo River Basin (LRB) with a focus on South Africa. Streamflow was simulated from two CORDEX-Africa regional climate models (RCMs) forced by the 5th phase of the Coupled Model Inter-Comparison Project (CMIP5) Global Climate Models (GCMs), namely, the CanESM2m and IPSL-CM5A-MR climate models. Three climate projection time intervals were considered spanning from 2006 to 2099 and delineated as follows: current climatology (2006–2035), near future (2036–2065) and end of century future projection (2070–2099). Statistical metrics derived from the projected streamflow were used to assess the impacts of the changing climate on water-linked sectors. These metrics included streamflow trends, low and high flow quantile probabilities, the Standardized Streamflow Index (SSI) trends and the proportion (%) of dry and wet years, as well as drought monitoring indicators. Based on the Mann-Kendall (MK) trend test, the LRB is projected to experience reduced streamflow in both the near and the distant future. The basin is projected to experience frequent dry and wet conditions that can translate to drought and flash floods, respectively. In particular, a high proportion of dry and a few incidences of wet years are expected in the basin in the future. In general, the findings of this research study will inform and enhance climate change adaptation and mitigation policy decisions and implementation thereof, to sustain the livelihoods of vulnerable communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: streamflow; Mann-Kendall trend; SSI; drought; water-linked sectors; climate change streamflow; Mann-Kendall trend; SSI; drought; water-linked sectors; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Botai, C.M.; Botai, J.O.; Zwane, N.N.; Hayombe, P.; Wamiti, E.K.; Makgoale, T.; Murambadoro, M.D.; Adeola, A.M.; Ncongwane, K.P.; de Wit, J.P.; Mengistu, M.G.; Tazvinga, H. Hydroclimatic Extremes in the Limpopo River Basin, South Africa, under Changing Climate. Water 2020, 12, 3299. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123299

AMA Style

Botai CM, Botai JO, Zwane NN, Hayombe P, Wamiti EK, Makgoale T, Murambadoro MD, Adeola AM, Ncongwane KP, de Wit JP, Mengistu MG, Tazvinga H. Hydroclimatic Extremes in the Limpopo River Basin, South Africa, under Changing Climate. Water. 2020; 12(12):3299. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123299

Chicago/Turabian Style

Botai, Christina M., Joel O. Botai, Nosipho N. Zwane, Patrick Hayombe, Eric K. Wamiti, Thabo Makgoale, Miriam D. Murambadoro, Abiodun M. Adeola, Katlego P. Ncongwane, Jaco P. de Wit, Michael G. Mengistu, and Henerica Tazvinga. 2020. "Hydroclimatic Extremes in the Limpopo River Basin, South Africa, under Changing Climate" Water 12, no. 12: 3299. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123299

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