Hydrology, Vol. 5, Pages 12: The Impact of Climate Change on Water Resource Availability in a Trans-Boundary Basin in West Africa: The Case of Sassandra

Research paper by Naga Coulibaly, Talnan Coulibaly, Ziyanda Mpakama, Issiaka Savané

Indexed on: 12 Jul '18Published on: 29 Jan '18Published in: Hydrology


In the context of climate change in West Africa characterized by a reduction of precipitation, this study was conducted to evaluate the impact of climate change on water resources from now to the end of the 21st century in the transboundary watershed of the Sassandra River shared by Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. Historical and future climate data of Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5 were projected with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Regional Climate Model (RegCM4). The hydrological modeling of the river basin was carried out with the conceptual hydrological model, GR2M, a monthly time steps model that allows for the assessment of the discharge of the Sassandra River for each climate scenario according to the time periods 2021–2040 (Horizon 2030), 2041–2060 (Horizon 2050), 2061–2080 (Horizon 2050), and 2061–2080 (Horizon 2090). The results show a reduction in annual discharge when compared to the baseline (1961–1980). For RCP 4.5, the observed values go from −1.2% in 2030 to −2.3% in 2070 and rise to −2.1% in 2090. Concerning RCP 8.5, we saw a variation from −4.2 to −7.9% in Horizons 2030 and 2090, respectively. With the general decrease in rainfall in West Africa, it is appropriate to assess the impact on water resources of the largest rivers (Niger, Gambia, and Senegal) that irrigate the Sahelo–Saharian zone.