1887

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers aim to stimulate discussion and critical comment on the broad range of economic, social and environmental issues associated with the United Nations Development Agenda.

English

The Relationship Between Rainfall and Human Density and its Implications for Future Water Stress in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper uses Geographic Information System (GIS) data on population density, rainfall and climate change scenarios in order to identify areas that will be subject to increased water stress due to insufficient precipitation to support their projected population levels in 2050. Density increases across the continent should lead to a significant increase in the extent of water stressed zones, especially around the Sahel belt and in Eastern Africa. Changes in rainfall, the pattern of which remains inherently uncertain today, could mitigate or compound those effects. Consequences of unsustainably high local densities such as migrations are bound to become more prevalent.

English

Keywords: Africa, climate change, migrations, climate modeling, rainfall, demographic growth
JEL: Q25: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Renewable Resources and Conservation: Water; Q54: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming; Q56: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
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