Water Resources of Africa

Water Resources Africa

Water Resources in Africa were analyzed by 2w2e experts.

Accurate knowledge of freshwater availability is indispensable for water resources management at the regional or national level. This information, however, has historically been very difficult to obtain because of lack of data, difficulties in the aggregation of spatial information, and problems in the quantification of distributed hydrological processes. The currently available estimates of freshwater availability by a few large international organizations such as FAO and UNESCO are often not sufficient as they only provide aggregated rough quantities of river discharge and groundwater recharge at a national level and on a yearly basis. In this study we used a semi-distributed hydrological model to assess freshwater components such as blue water flow (i.e., water yield plus deep aquifer recharge), green water flow (i.e., actual evapotranspiration), and green water storage (i.e., soil water) at a subbasin level with monthly resolution for the African continent. The model was calibrated and validated at 207 discharge stations, and prediction uncertainties were quantified. The presented model and its results could be used in various advanced studies on climate change, water, and food security, and virtual water trade, among others. The model results are generally good albeit with large prediction uncertainties in some cases. These uncertainties, however, disclose the actual knowledge about the modeled processes. The effect of considering these model-based uncertainties in advanced studies is shown for the computation of water scarcity indicators.


More information is provided in the related paper using the following link: Africa Paper