Energy, Water and Climate Change in Southern Africa What are the Issues that Need Further Investment and Research?

"Southern Africa is a water-scarce region. Like other developing countries Southern African nations aspire to the living standards of industrialised countries. To achieve these standards more water and energy resources are needed to support economic growth, industrial expansion and food security for a growing population. Most rural people in Southern Africa struggle to acquire basic necessities and the four countries described in this report are food importers. Lesotho, for example, expects to have to import food for 90% of its population in 2011, and even South Africa has been a net food importer since 2008. Water management and food security are major challenges because a relatively high percentage of the available water is used for food production. In South Africa 61% of the available water is allocated to irrigation as compared to 40% in the USA. Growing water, energy and food security needs have to be carefully balanced and planned considering climate change. This study looked at the water-energy nexus in the context of climate change in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Mozambique. National planning was investigated in South Africa and the absence of integrated water and energy planning was noticeable at all governance levels and is of concern. No integrated water and energy plans were found in the other countries."