Thursday, January 9, 2014

Where's the Water?: Mapping Water Vulnerability in sub-Saharan Africa

Jennifer O'Neal, Independent Major: Geographical Poverty Studies

Reports of global water crises seem to occur at a more rapid clip day by day.  Global agencies have emphasized water scarcity as a crucial problem both in developed and developing countries.  Climate change scientists predict that water scarcity will continuously be exacerbated, especially in areas of the globe directly north and south of the Equator.  In sub-Saharan Africa, many countries are already hurting from physical water scarcity and drought, however, even in areas where physical water scarcity is not present, economic water scarcity is taking a massive toll.  Utilizing GIS technology, the overlaying of maps of economic and physical water scarcity in sub-Saharan Africa with poverty rates of the area demonstrates the geographical location of populations that are at the highest risk of detrimental water scarcity.  This will target areas where the people are unable, due to lack of resources, to alter their circumstances.  This information will better inform governmental agencies, urban development planners, and aid agencies on where to target water development projects and where the highest critical needs are located.

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