WaterPower. Collision of Mega-Trends in a West-African Coastal City


The majority of the world’s population lives since the turn of the millennium in cities, most of them in developing countries and many in the low elevation coastal zone (McGranahan et al. 2007). Furthermore urban expansion proceeds even faster than population growth (Seto et al. 2011). The rapidly increasing land, food, energy and freshwater demand drive regional land cover and land use change with global consequences (Grimm et al. 2008). The risks that arise from these consequences are distributed unevenly across the planet. In Western Africa, urbanisation occurs at rates that exceed administrative capacities, with detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health. Resources are under multiple pressures from global market interests, a growing population, habitat degradation and conversion and a changing climate. Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Given this context WaterPower aims at contributing to the fundamental question on how human well-being and development can be safeguarded and enhanced in growing coastal cities that are at risk from local environmental burdens and global environmental change. The main research questions addressed by the junior research group are: a) Will there be a collision of mega-trends in Accra? b) What are the governance related tipping-points that decide about collapse or sustainability? The overall aim is to explore the intersections and dynamics of urbanisation, the (mis-) allocation of resources and climate change drawing on the example of water scarcity. The project therein aims to develop knowledge to respond effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and to support transformation towards global sustainability in West-Africa. It implies that the knowledge generated shall be relevant and approachable for key stakeholders.


Principal Investigators
Bruns, Antje Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Climate Change and sustainable Development)

Duration of Project
Start date: 04/2014
End date: 03/2018

Last updated on 2021-27-01 at 14:53