The relationship between rainfall and human density and its implications for future water stress in sub-Saharan Africa, DESA Working Paper No. 57
UNDESA, 2007This paper uses Geographic Information System (GIS) data on population density, rainfall and climate change scenarios in order to identify areas that will be subject to increased water stress due to insufficient precipitation to support their projected population levels in 2050. Density increases across the continent should lead to a significant increase in the extent of water stressed zones, especially around the Sahel belt and in Eastern Africa. Changes in rainfall, the pattern of which remains inherently uncertain today, could mitigate or compound those effects. Consequences of unsustainably high local densities such as migrations are bound to become more prevalent.