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McMaster University (2022)

Assessing hydrologic impact of climate change in the Kou Basin (Burkina Faso)

Sankofi, Ruth

Titre : Assessing hydrologic impact of climate change in the Kou Basin (Burkina Faso)

Auteur : Sankofi, Ruth

Etablissement de soutenance : McMaster University

Grade : Master of Science (MSc) 2022

One of the key areas of climate change impacts is the water resources. Surface water has been compromised by climate change, and so has groundwater. Sub-Saharan Africa has been one of the major sufferers of climate change since the early 70s. The limitations of current global climate models in the prediction of the future climate over the continent have been a source of research challenges in the last decade. Over the decades, West Africa and the Sahel region have been subjected to major droughts and recurrent dry spells. While most studies in the region have tackled climate change effects on surface water and agriculture, a few have highlighted its effects on groundwater. This study investigates climate change impacts on both surface and groundwater in the Kou basin in Burkina Faso. The Kou River and its tributaries have experienced depletion over the last decades. Therefore, it has become necessary to investigate the deficit of the river flow and how the groundwater that forms the springs that feed the rivers is affected by climate change. The study resorts to integrated hydrologic modelling approach using the SWAT surface model and the MODFLOW groundwater model to assess the impact of climate change. Simulations from selected Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are used. Investigations from the RCMs show that the study area is expected to be drier with less precipitation and higher temperatures. Furthermore, the SWAT model results show that as rainfall reduces, future stream flows also significantly decrease. Results from the MODFLOW model also follow the trend of the SWAT model. Groundwater levels are declining whatever the RCM outputs used. Overall, all the models predicted a severely decreasing trend in surface and groundwater in the Kou basin. The study results will be particularly useful for water resources managers in the Kou River basin.

Mots clés : Kou Basin ;SAWT+ ;MODFLOW;Climate change


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