Primary water sources in Swaziland are surface waters (rivers, reservoirs), ground water and atmospheric moisture. An expected 40% of the country’s river flows will be impacted by climate change. The primary-river catchment or drainage systems in Swaziland are the Komati, Lomati, Mbuluzi, Usutu, Ngwavuma, Pongola and Lubombo. Water is relatively scare and irrigation uses approximately 95% of surface water resources. Irrigation is most common in the Lowveld, which is a drier part of the country and more susceptible to drought. Late onset of the rainfall season, the shortened rain periods and severe dry spells during the critical crop growth stages are expected to increase likelihood for crop failure. This is expected to particularly pronounced in Usuthu, Mbuluzi and Ngwavuma catchments. Swaziland’s grasslands are also likely to be impacted by decreasing water availability.
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.