The benefits of rural electrification to improve water access and irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa, a water-energy-land assessment framework applied to Zambia.
- 1International Instutute for Applied System Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
- 2University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
- 3Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
- 4Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Venice, Italy
Sub-Saharan Africa has a large portion of the population with no access to electricity, piped drinking water, or sanitation services. The lack of these basic services also affects farmers that mostly rely on rainfed agriculture instead of irrigation. Given the expected population growth and potential changes in hydrology and crop yield response due to climate change, future development for the region needs to be carefully studied to achieve increased access to basic services and, potentially, synergetic economic benefits in agriculture.
Within the LEAP-RE 4 AFRI project, we developed a framework that combines three high-resolution, single-sector simulation models (crop water requirements, electricity demand and rural electricity dispatchment) to a long-term water-energy-land integrated assessment model to explore different scenarios of future development for Zambia. This helps understand which regions would benefit of better water access and irrigation potential due to improved rural electrification.
We compare two scenarios of moderate and universal electricity-water access with a current trend scenario, we compare the expected costs and benefits for the rural population, including the economic benefits achievable by improving irrigation standards and crop yields.
Although Zambia is a relatively water-abundant region, we focus on it as a case study with a framework that can be transferred to any other country in Sub-Saharan Africa, where climate change impact might have a significant impact on water scarcity, electricity generation potential and crop yields.
How to cite: Vinca, A., Falchetta, G., Ireland, G., Tuninetti, M., Awais, M., Byers, E., Semeria, F., and Giordano, V.: The benefits of rural electrification to improve water access and irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa, a water-energy-land assessment framework applied to Zambia., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16277, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-16277, 2023.