HyCRISTAL: Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa

Project Timeline

1 Jun 15 - 30 Jun 19

Project Contact



East Africa is developing rapidly, with many decisions being taken now which will have consequences for decades to come. Due to climate change, we do not expect the weather and climate in the coming decades to be the same as those in the past, which must be accounted for in decision making. For many of these long-term decisions, and for sustainable development, availability of water is fundamental. However, this vital resource and the livelihoods it supports are already under stress from land degradation, pollution and overfishing. Climate change adds to these problems, greatly increasing the vulnerability of the poorest people in the region.

HyCRISTAL focuses on tropical East Africa; a region where, close to the equator, there are two rainy seasons per year. The socio-economic focus region is the area of the East African Community states (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) with climate science addressing a wider region including Somalia and southern Ethiopia. HyCRISTAL is supported by the East African Community and is linked to the World Meterological Office GWEX programme project HyVic.

Climate projections show a warming trend in East Africa in the decades ahead, but changes in rainfall are more uncertain. Changes in weather extremes are expected, although the likely magnitudes of these are currently unclear. HyCRISTAL aims to tackle current uncertainties that exist around climate change projections for the region, concentrating in particular on what they mean for the availability and management of water. HyCRISTAL is working with the region’s decision makers to integrate this information to current long-term planning and decision-making.

Organisations Involved

  • University of Leeds
  • African Centre for Technology Studies
  • British Geological Survey
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UK)
  • Evidence for Development
  • Jomo Kenyatta University
  • Loughborough University
  • Met Office (UK)
  • National Centre for Atmospheric Science (UK)
  • North Carolina State University
  • Practical Action
  • Stony Brook University
  • Tanzanian Meteorological Agency
  • Ugandan National Meteorological Authority
  • Ugandan Ministry of Water Resources
  • University of Connecticut
  • Makerere University
  • Maseno University
  • Walker Institute
  • University of Reading (Africa Climate Exchange)


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HyCRISTAL’s Professor Barbara Evans wins IWA Development Award for 2017

HyCRISTAL’s Professor Barbara Evans is spearheading a pilot study to co-produce research for urban water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in two pilot cities of Kampala, Uganda and Kisumu, Kenya.

Scientists say East Africa will get wetter, so why is it drying out?

Read HyCRISTAL's principal investigator John Marsham in this Climate Change News article.