PROJECT: Assessing the potential impacts of climate change on Belize’s water resources
Water is a crucial resource for Belize and its development. Nevertheless, very little is known about the potential impacts of climate change on Belize’s water resources.
To shed some light on this pressing issue, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the University of Belize, in partnership with the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) have undertaken a year-and-a-half long project that used modeling to assess the potential impacts of climate change on the supply and demand for water and water quality in Belize across different climate change and land use scenarios.
In so doing, the study determined the hydrographic areas most vulnerable to climate change.
As part of the CDKN Caribbean Research Call, the project was geared to answer three major questions:
- What is the current demand for and supply of water in Belize’s major and minor watersheds?
- How is this supply and demand likely to change across the range of future land use and climate change scenarios?
- Based on these scenarios, which areas are highly vulnerable to climate change and to what magnitude?
The main outputs from this work were a policy brief for decision-makers, technical reports, workshops to build national capacity in the use of hydrological and climate models and a conference to share findings with representatives from the environmental sector.
The results of this work supported the development of national-level policies on climate change adaptation and contribute to the regional body of knowledge. Importantly, it also helped to develop sustained capacity within Belizean institutions to iteratively assess climate change impacts, as new data becomes available.
- Research report summarising preliminary research findings.
- Presentation on the Impacts of Climate and Land Use Change on Belize’s Water Resources.
Image copyright: Sebastian Kratzer