Zambezi River Basin Hydropower Assumptions
This project is a research initiative designed to address the major
uncertainties facing hydropower development in the region, and to deepen
understanding among stakeholders of the risks to hydropower from
changes in climate and increased upstream water demand.
For 18 months, researchers from the University of Cape Town, the Centre for Energy, Environment and Engineering (Zambia) at the University of Zambia, OneWorld Sustainable Investments, University of Eduardo Mondlane, and Pöyry Management Consulting have been developing and applying a water supply and demand modelling tool for the Zambezi River Basin. The research was guided by a Steering Committee led by the Southern African Power Pool and including the Zambezi River Authority, the ZAMCOM Interim Secretariat, Southern African Development Community Energy, the UK Department for International Development, and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network.
The model was applied to two future climate scenarios, reflecting possible “wetting” or “drying” climates, and two scenarios for irrigation expansion in the region. The results of the analysis point to dramatic potential negative impacts on major existing and planned hydropower investments.
The research team and funders are committed to making this research accessible and in the public domain, including all of the modelling. This page includes links to all of the final deliverables of the project, including the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model and underlying datasets behind this.