ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND CHANGE ON WATER RESOURCES IN BAMENDA METROPOLIS, NORTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON
Keywords:Climate Variability and Change, Drought, Standardised Precipitation Index, Impact On Water Resources, Climate Forecast
Water resources within Bamenda continue to face climate related stress. This paper sought to assess the impact of climate variability and change on water resources in Bamenda metropolis. Questionnaires, field study and historic climatic data were used to evaluate effects of climatic variability and changes on water resources. Two Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5) scenarios were used to project climatic data. Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) was used to determine drought. Irregular rainfall and water shortage were the foremost challenges experienced by the population. Historic data showed an annual decrease in precipitation and increase in temperature. Precipitation shift and a low R-squared values (0.04 - 0.47) for precipitation indicated climatic variation. Decrease precipitation (gradient -11.84) coincided with the periods of droughts (1993 - 2019) given by the negative values of SPI (up to -3). The hydrological changes realised were 23 springs and 13 streams dry off and 27 springs and 16 streams have become seasonal. Projected data showed increase in precipitation and temperature, leaving Bamenda with the challenge of poor water quality that negatively affects public health and development. This study highlights the need to adopt current water and drought management practice in this area.
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