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The River Basin  
 Introduction
Geography
Climate and Weather
 Principles of Climate and Meteorology
 Hydrologic Cycle
 Climate Variability
 Climate Classification
 Water Scarcity
 Drought
 Climate of the Orange-Senqu River Basin
 The Regional Climate
 Climatic Patterns
 Climatic Classification
 Water Scarcity in the Basin
 Drought in the Basin
 Climate Change
 Climate Change in southern Africa
 Climate Change Downscaling
 Water for the Future Report
Hydrology
Water Quality
Ecology and Biodiversity
 References


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Climate and Weather

   

Climate is perhaps the single most important driver determining the amount, distribution and to some extent, the availability of water in the environment. The temporal and spatial distribution of water, the intensity of precipitation and temperature regimes all drive elements of the hydrologic cycle and the many other physical and chemical processes that shape the landscape.

The climate of the Orange-Senqu River basin varies significantly along the path of the river from the temperate climes of the Lesotho mountains, through dry grasslands and savanna, to the arid landscapes of the semi-desert Nama and Succulent Karoo regions close to the river mouth.

Our global climate is changing. The question is, when and where the changes will take place, and what the impacts will be on our local environment and livelihoods? These are profound questions for the Orange-Senqu River basin, with much of the basin already in a state of water scarcity; a situatoin that is already presenting water managers and planners with significant challenges in terms of water quality, distribution and allocation.

Lightning during a storm on the Lower Orange River.
Source:Kruchem 2011
( click to enlarge )

Chapter Summary

This chapter covers the following concepts and material:

The climate of Orange-Senqu River basin varies from snow in the winter in Lesotho...
Source:Lesotho Water Commission 2008
( click to enlarge )
....to the scorching Namib desert in Namibia.
Source:Huber 2008
( click to enlarge )

 

Interactive

Explore the sub-basins of the Orange-Senqu River


Tour video scenes along the Orange-Senqu River related to the River Basin


Investigate land cover and terrestrial ecoregions in the basin


Examine how the hydrologic cycle moves water through and around the earth


Explore the interactions of living organisms in aquatic environments


 
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