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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 2 (2012 Deadline)

Impact of climate change on freshwater availability for Senegal: modeling future changes in
hydroclimatology of the Lake of Guiers

PI: Mouhamadou Sylla (Laboratoire de Physique de l'Atmosphere et de l'Ocean)
U.S. Partner: Jeremy Pal (Loyola Marymount University)
Project Dates: August 2013 to December 2015

2-344 Community Site Visit
The project team visits local farming communities near the Lake of Guiers (Photo: Dr. Sylla).
This project aims to study climate change effects on the Lake of Guiers, the main freshwater reservoir for Senegal. The water is mostly used for irrigated cropping in the basin and domestic use in Dakar. It is unknown how its hydroclimatology might evolve in the future, but changes in surface runoff over the basin and in the amount of water in the lake could produce significant disturbances for end-users. The researcher in this project will analyze past and present-day climate and water resources, elaborate climate change projections over the lake basin, and produce future scenarios of water resources for the lake. A series of three workshops will be organized at the end of each task to engage, inform, and exchange information with the end-users
As for development impacts, this project will generate a unique dataset in the field of climate change modeling over Senegal. This dataset can serve as input for more high-impact studies beyond the activities included in the project, for example in the fields of health and ecosystems. Policy makers could also use the datasets generated to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. Thanks to the project's expected results, Senegal’s government will for the first time possess robust short-term (2021-2050) and long-term (2071-2100) projections of the amounts of freshwater available in the lake and thus potable water for domestic use in Dakar. In addition, production of future estimates of surface runoff in the lake basin is a great asset for agricultural policy makers, as these conditions can either depress or favor irrigated cropping. This study will raise awareness for an improved water resources management and stimulate the elaboration of more appropriate adaptation strategies to secure sustainable irrigated agriculture and potable water distribution in the future.
Summary of Recent Activities
During the beginning of 2015, the team focused on analyzing the multimodel ensemble projections generated from their regional climate models in an effort to extract the climate change signal for Senegal and Lake of Guiers in particular. The team also utilized the results of the field trips to the lake basin and is currently developing new communication strategies for the local population. The hydrological model is also generating the water-related parameters of the Lake to identify the water balance.

In the next months the team will continue to work on the data to establish a hydrological balance for the Lake of Guiers. Another field visit to the basin's users is scheduled and the team hopes to communicate their results and give recommendations adaptation before organizing the final workshop to deliver the results to stakeholders. A presentation will be given at the conference "Our Common Future under Climate Change" in Paris, July 7 – 11.
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