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Energy, water and climate change in southern Africa: what are the issues that need further investment and research?

Regional climate change projections for southern Africa indicate that global warming is likely to lead to greater increases in annual mean temperatures than the global average. This means increasing rainfall intensities, decreasing frequencies of low intensity (soft soaking) rainfall and longer dry periods between rainfall events, resulting in more severe droughts, floods and heatwaves, which will, in turn, lead to greater food insecurity in the region. This paper assesses the water-energy nexus in southern Africa in the context of climate change. The aim is to analyse the way energy and water services can be combined and improved to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to climate variability and change. The analysis is based on secondary data gathered through a cross-disciplinary desktop study, discussions with experts and two workshops held in South Africa and Brazil. The countries covered in the report are Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.