Participatory Modelling for Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in Southern Africa

The objective is to assess how participatory modelling can be used to develop a locally suggested adaptation plan for climate change impacts on water resources. The project is being carried out in the Thukela River Basin in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Three groups are participationg in the process of obtaining relevant information from running the ACRU catchment model with three climate change scenarios (1961-2050) as well as in using these results in the formulation of adaptation plans 1) small-scale farmers 2) commercial farmers and 3) regional authorities involved in agriculture and water management.

During group meetings, current perceptions of climate change are assessed, the rational about models and of information needed communicated, model results and potential impacts assessed. The project will assess the impact of participatory modelling on stakeholders' perceptions of the problem of climate change related to water resources, and on stakeholders' perception of needs of adaptation strategies and measures to accommodate possible climate related changes and reduce vulnerability.

It is hypothesised that ensuring a genuine participation of relevant stakeholders through all stages of the modelling process will increase the legitimacy of the produced information. This legitimisation will increase the possibility to assess what options and response measures that exists to ensure that people in a catchment can adapt and cope with expected impact of climate change on water resources.

Duration: 2006-2009 (Sida/SAREC), 2009-2012 (Research Links)

Funded by: Sida/SAREC, VR (Research Links)

Responsible at SMHI/CSPR: Lotta Andersson

External partners: University KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, 


- Andersson, L., Wilk, J., Graham, P., Warburton, M., 2009. Local assessment of vulnerability to climate change impacts on water resources in the Upper Thukela River Basin, South Africa – Recommendations for adaptation. SMHI Rep. Climatology No 1, September 2009. SMHI, Norrköping, Sweden. ISSN 1654-2258, 47 pp.

- Andersson, L., Wilk, J., Graham, P., Warburton, M. 2010. Participatory modelling for locally proposed climate change adaptation related to water and agriculture in South Africa. Conference proceedings FRIEND, Fez, Morocco, October 2010. IAHS Publication 340, 214-220.

- Andersson, L., Alkan Olsson, J, Jonsson, A. Wilk, J. 2010. Use of participatory scenario modelling as platforms in stakeholders dialogues. 10th Kovacs Colloquim. Paris July 2010. IAHS Publication 338, 187-192.

- Graham, L.P, Andersson, L, Horan, M., Kunz, R., Lumsden, T., Schulze, R., Warburton, M., Wilk, J. and Yang, W., 2011. Using multiple climate projections for assessing hydrological response to climate change in the Thukela River Basin, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. 36, 727-735. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2011.07.084