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 ) the scorching Namib desert in Namibia.
Source:Huber 2008
( click to enlarge )