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Hydropower in the Zambezi River basin at risk due to changing climate and increased irrigation

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This policy brief is among the output from a research initiative designed to address the major uncertainties facing hydropower development in the Zambezi region, and to deepen understanding among stakeholders of the risks to hydropower from changes in climate and increased upstream water demand.

For 18 months, researchers developed and applied a water supply and demand modelling tool for the Zambezi River Basin.

The model was applied to two future climate scenarios, reflecting possible “wetting” or “drying” climates, and two scenarios for irrigation expansion in the region.

The results of the analysis according to the researchers, point to dramatic potential negative impacts on major existing and planned hydropower investments.

This policy brief is suipplemented by the full research report, also available to access here on Eldis.