Water Supplies in Africa

Apropos a long and predictably unproductive comment thread, a new study published on line by Science today:

Using predicted precipitation changes, we calculate that decrease in perennial drainage will significantly affect present surface water access across 25% of Africa by the end of this century.

I don’t want to make too big a deal of this. I think Vörösmarty et al. were right six years ago when they wrote:

(R)ising water demands greatly outweigh greenhouse warming in defining the state of global water systems to 2025. Consideration of direct human impacts on global water supply remains a poorly articulated but potentially important facet of the larger global change question.

Whatever the global climate change component, natural variability on decadal scales along with population growth and movement pose serious problems.


  1. Human population growth is the most serious component, IM(and others’)HO, John.

    3B more people on the planet means 3M mi^2 more land be dedicated to agriculture, if present trends continue. That land will need water. A tremendous challenge, indeed.



  2. Pingback: jfleck at inkstain » Blog Archive » Population Growth v. Climate Change

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