Erratic rainfall patterns in the Gambia impact on freshwater reserves and increased evaporation affects both surface and groundwater replenishment. The changes in regional rainfall have profoundly impacted water resources: dried up springs and streams, caused groundwater levels to drop, contracted seasonally flooded swamps, enhanced peak floods, and enhanced saline intrusion. Long-term declines in water availability, accessibility, and quality may create transboundary conflicts or tensions among communities that share and depend on the same water sources. The Gambia’s coastal and marine areas, where a large proportion of the national population resides, are under increasing pressure, including in-migration from the hinterlands because of disrupted rainfall patterns and land degradation. The Gambia’s coastline is exposed to wave action and coastal erosion and changes in seasonal rainfall patterns combined with sea level rise may exacerbate existing natural hazards.
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.