945 HyCRISTAL: Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Deciisons for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa

Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
John H. Marsham, Univ. of Leeds, Leeds, U.K.; and D. Rowell, B. E. Evans, R. J. Cornforth, F. H. M. Semazzi, R. L. Wilby, and T. HyCRISTAL team

East Africa is developing rapidly, with many decisions being taken now which will have consequences for decades to come. Due to climate change, we do not expect the weather and climate in the coming decades to be the same as those in the past, which must be accounted for in decision making. For many of these long-term decisions, and for sustainable development, availability and management of water is fundamental. However, this vital resource and the livelihoods it supports are already under stress from steady growth in population, land degradation, inadequate sanitation and drainage systems, pollution and overfishing. Climate change adds to these challenges, greatly increasing the vulnerability of the poorest people in the region.
HyCRISTAL is a consortium within the ‘Future Climate for Africa’ programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). HyCRISTAL focuses on tropical East Africa; a region where, close to the equator, there are two rainy seasons per year. The socio-economic focus region is the area comprised of the East African Community states (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) with climate science addressing a wider region including Somalia and southern Ethiopia. HyCRISTAL is supported by the East African Community and is linked to the World Meteorological Office GEWEX project HyVic.
HyCRISTAL is working with the region’s decision makers to integrate information on climate change into current long-term planning and decision making. It focuses on two key and contrasting settings in the Lake Victoria basin: (1) Rural communities that rely on agriculture and fishing; (2) Urban populations where water supply and sanitation are under pressure. HyCRISTAL’s climate science aims to understand and ultimately reduce sources of uncertainty in decision-relevant climate information for East Africa. It addresses both drivers not accounted for in CMIP projections, as well as processes such as moist convection that are known to be both key to climate impacts and poorly captured in global climate models. Here we present initial results from HyCRISTAL’s research and pilot studies of use of climate information in decision making.

Supplementary URL: http://www.futureclimateafrica.org/project/hycristal/

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