E-Flows : Limpopo

This project will provide the necessary evidence to secure environmental flows (e-flows) for increasing the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the Limpopo Basin to changes in stream-flow resulting from basin activities and climate change.

The study involves characterising the socio-ecological system of the Limpopo River Basin, its riverine resources and how these resources are being developed and what protection requirements exist to achieve sustainability.  In this study, the PROBFLO e-flow determination approach will be implemented to:

  • Determine the environmental flows and associated non-flow environmental requirements of selected riverine sites in the basin, and
  • Establish and implement a regional scale ecological risk framework to evaluate the risk of multiple flow and non-flow stressors to water resources in the Limpopo catchment.  This study will include field sampling throughout the basin and include social science, hydrology, hydraulics, water quality, ecotoxicology and aquatic ecology research aspects.

Client and or collaborating stakeholders: US AID: Resilient Waters Program, International Water Management Institute, University of Mpumalanga, SANPARKS, North-West University.

 Interesting and important outcomes/prospects: The water resources of the Limpopo Basin are already heavily used and currently there is little to no attention given to the sustainable management of this shared resource that expands across Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Water resources in this shared basin are truly “out of sight and out of mind”. We hope to make a real contribution to the management of the water resources in the basin and what is required to protect it! We expect to make many important discoveries and contribute to human resource development and science in this study!

For more information contact: Gordon.obrien@ump.ac.za