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Capacity Building in Water Sciences for Improved Assessment and Management of Water Resources (NUFU)

The NUFU project aims to improve knowledge on water resources under present and a changing environment (e.g. land use and climate change) in southern Africa and Malawi, in particular. Key thematic areas include water quality and link to the origin of water resource, surface water-groundwater interactions, hydrological extremes (flood and drought) and water resources under present and a changing environment.

Full project title: Capacity Building in Water Sciences for Improved Assessment and Management of Water Resources (NUFUPRO-2007/10079).

Objectives

The network project has two main objectives:

  • Innovative research – to enhance basic research in water resources under present and a changing environment (e.g. land use and climate change).
  • Capacity and institutional building – to strengthen the competence and exchange of knowledge amongst the institutions involved, and subsequently contribute to the development of MSc and PhD programs in the southern Africa member countries.

Main themes

There are five key areas of research within the project:

  1. Water quality and linkages to origin of water resource
  2. Groundwater
  3. Water resources and hydrological extremes
  4. Water resources under present and future climate
  5. Water resources and local knowledge system.

The research at the Department of Geosciences is aimed at modeling water resources and hydrological extremes (flood and drought) in the southern Africa region. It will in particular incorporate the role of evapotranspiration under a changing climate, which has received little attention in regional climate change studies. Climate model scenarios for southern Africa predict further warming, which will result in an increase in the potential evapotranspiration with significant implications for soil moisture and runoff.

Groundwater resources in the lower Shire region in Malawi show high salinity. The research at the Department of Chemistry is aimed at investigating soil-, ground- and surface water quality in lower Shire, southern Malawi, to understand the hydrochemistry of the groundwater and hence, the origin of salt in the lower Shire. This knowledge is needed in order to assess effects of climate change on the salinity problem using hydrological models in a GIS environment, and to identify and assess ideal land use scenarios in response to the emerging salt problem.

Background

The project is supported by The Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) for the period 2007-2011. The project involves six researchers at UiO (Department of Geosciences and Department of Chemistry). The project coordinator in the south is Professor John Saka from the University of Malawi (Chancellor College). Other network partners include the Department of Earth Sciences, University of the Western Cape, South Africa (Prof. Yongxin Xu) and the Department of Geology, University of Botswana (Prof. Berhanu Alemaw).

Financing

The project is financed by the Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) and managed by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). The NUFU program, funded by NORAD, is a program for independent academic cooperation between institutions of higher education and research in the south and partners in Norway.

Cooperation

The project is a cooperation with two main partners and two network partners:

Lead institution/Coordinator in the north: Professor Lena M. Tallaksen, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo.

Coordinator in the south: Professor John Saka, Chemistry Department, Chancellor College, University of Malawi.

Network Partners:

Professor Berhanu Alemaw, Geology Department, University of Botswana.

Professor Yongxin Xu, Department of Earth Sciences, University of the Western Cape.

 

The projects has close links with the Socioeconomic Concequences of Climate Change in Sub-equatorial Africa (SoCoCa) project.

 

Tags: Hydrology, Hydrological modeling
Published Feb 21, 2011 04:16 PM - Last modified Mar 25, 2014 10:07 AM