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CR 19:133-147 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr019133

Historical and human dimensions of climate variability and water resource constraint in the Senegal River Valley

John Magistro1,*, Medou Lo2

1International Development Enterprises, 10403 West Colfax Avenue, Suite 500, Lakewood, Colorado 80215, USA
2Centre de Suivi Ecologique, Rue Léon Go ntran Damas, Fann Résidence, BP15532 Dakar, Senegal

ABSTRACT: This paper provides a case study from the northern Senegal wetlands documenting trends in inter-annual and seasonal climate variability during the past century as well as human vulnerability and adaptation to anomalous climate events. A secular decline in precipitation during the past 3 decades has resulted in the construction of 2 dams on the Senegal River in the 1980s and an interstate river basin development strategy to develop hydroelectricity, irrigation farming, and a navigable waterway. Current agro-ecological production systems dependent on a seasonal riparian flood cycle could be curtailed in trying to meet these development objectives. Two hydrological time flow series illustrating the importance of inter-annual and seasonal climate variability for the region are used to weigh the costs and benefits of competing water use scenarios for end users.

KEY WORDS: Adaptation · Climate variability · Human dimensions · Senegal River Valley · Dams · Water resources

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