Soil erosion plays a critical role in soil and water conservation practices. Until recently, the WEAP model (Water Evaluation And Planning Tool), widely used for water resources planning assessments and scenario analyses, did not allow for the calculation of soil erosion. The WEAP Erosion plugin developed by FutureWater, fills this gap by allowing users to estimate soil erosion based on a simplified Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) approach.

The use of WEAP plugins allow for the expansion of the base model with new processes and functionalities. As such, the WEAP Erosion plugin can be used to assess soil erosion for different land use types and management strategies (see figure below) in space and time. The WEAP Erosion plugin, originally developed in 2021, has recently been updated to the latest WEAP version (2023.0) and includes new features such as the automatic estimation of the average catchment slope.

Assessment of soil erosion for different land use and management strategies

The plugin was developed in association with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and can be freely used by each WEAP user. Since March 2024, the plugin has been officially included within the WEAP software and can be downloaded into models through the plugin menu. The plugin has been applied by FutureWater in projects for various partners, including The Nature Conservancy (TNC), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and national water resource management institutes.

Interested in downloading the plugin? The plugin is available inside WEAP — click the Download button in the Plugins screen. The plugin and associated manual can be downloaded via this link.

To achieve the objectives the project has a technical component and stakeholder engagement component. On the technical side, hydrological models will be updated and validated. Climate change scenarios will be used as inputs for the testing of adaptation strategies within the Limpopo Basin. The adaptation include traditional grey infrastructure and additionally nature based solutions. The benefits analysis of the adaptation measure will cover macro and micro socio-economical benefits.

The results of this study will then be used to inform the development of a first-generation Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the Limpopo River Basin (LRB). Through this, the individual basin countries will agree on a set of transboundary development priorities for the basin, which will guide both transboundary and national investments in the future, through a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and National Action Plans (NAPs).

Within the project we cooperate with the hydrologists of ARA-Norte to discuss and establish the baseline for a water system analysis in the Monapo Catchment. Following discussion and mapping sessions, FutureWater is developing a Water Allocation Model in WEAP that includes climate change scenarios and mitigation and adaptation measures to asses the water availability of the catchment. Part of the assignment includes continuous training to local professional, to ensure the application of the developed model in the analysis of the system and elaborating specific proposal for implementation in the region.

FutureWater recently completed a visit to Mozambique, collaborating with the regional water authorities in both the north (ARA-Norte) and south (ARA-Sul). The visit was part of the Blue Deal Mozambique program aiming to strengthen the cooperation between the Dutch and Mozambican water authorities. Additionally, the mission supported the GLOW Project funded by the Partners for Water Program.

At ARA-Norte FutureWater delivered WEAP training sessions and held technical discussions on the water system of the Monapo River catchment. The training sessions on the WEAP modelling tool were tailor-made for intermediate and advanced WEAP users. Mapping sessions were held to identify key model components and possible scenarios that would aid the water authorities in designing their strategic water allocation plans. Through collaborative efforts a WEAP model for the Monapo River Basin will be developed in the first trimester of 2024. This will guide the water resource managers from ARA-Norte to develop their own WEAP models in the future.

At ARA-Sul, the visit built on existing cooperation with the local water resource managers to improve their strategic water allocation WEAP model for the Umbeluzi River catchment. Advanced training sessions were provided to the experts, as well as beginner training for the recently graduated professionals. A session was held especially dedicated to the analysis of the groundwater balance around the Pequenos Libombos Reservoir. FutureWater presented a tool to model the changes in groundwater storage resulting from climate change and groundwater exploitation. Both the strategic water allocation WEAP model and the groundwater tool are built from a strategic water resource management perspective, aiming to answer what-if questions for the coming 100 years.

Another important element of our visit was highlighting the progress on the GLOW project, discussing the water availability forecasting results, and improving the information that the dashboard is delivering, based on the user needs of ARA-Sul. Within the GLOW, we are providing information based on medium-range weather information and advanced hydrological models.

WEAP training theoretical session
Interactive sessions among participants
WEAP training session

Groundwater availability is critical to the Umbeluzi Catchment. Currently, there is a need for a simple tool that can asses the availability of resources in the ground.

This especially to asses the permits for groundwater extractions. It is expected that a simplified modelling approach can provide a trend analysis sufficient for the water authorities in Mozambique to perform assessments of the sub-surface water availability. Furthermore, the water availability will be assessed for current and future conditions, under different scenarios of climate change and demand increase.

Within the project, FutureWater will develop a groundwater model in WEAP, using the Strategic Model previously build for the Umbeluzi catchment. To this end a detailed data gathering activity will take place proceed by developing the model. We aim to validate and improve the model with measurements available of groundwater levels in the catchment. The model will be validated with the technical team of ARA-Sul. Ultimately, a dedicated training session for ARA-SUl will ensure that model operation is performed by local experts.

In our ongoing commitment to bolster the efforts of ARA-Sul in Mozambique, FutureWater recently conducted an intensive training course focusing on the application of the Strategic Water Allocation Model within the Umbeluzi Catchment area. This significant initiative entailed the utilization of the renowned Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) model, coupled with a comprehensive update of critical information and underlying assumptions.

The primary objective of this training was to empower the dedicated professionals at ARA-Sul with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage and optimize water resources within the region. The strategic allocation of water resources is of paramount importance, especially in areas like the Umbeluzi Catchment, where water plays a pivotal role in sustaining livelihoods, ecosystems, and economic activities.

One key aspect of this training involved fine-tuning the analysis-scenarios to comprehensively assess potential bottlenecks and challenges within the water allocation system. Identifying these bottlenecks is essential for making informed decisions, developing mitigation strategies, and ensuring the sustainable utilization of water resources.

Our collaborative efforts with ARA-Sul extend beyond the training itself. We are committed to providing ongoing support and guidance to ensure the long-term success of this endeavor. Through regular follow-up activities and consultations, the technical professionals at ARA-Sul are now well-equipped to independently maintain their model and conduct the essential analyses required for informed decision-making.

More information on the training here

Training on WEAP. June 2023.

FutureWater proudly presents the culmination of an extensive study on climate risk assessment for key crop production in Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. The report is a significant contribution to the CREATE project (Cross-Border Climate Vulnerabilities and Remote Impacts of Food Systems of the EU, Turkey, and Africa), funded by the European Research Area Network (ERA-Net) Cofund on Food Systems and Climate (FOSC).

The primary objective of the study was to map crop-specific climate risks under both the mild SSP2-4.5 and the severe SSP5-8.5 climate change scenarios, offering a comprehensive view of the challenges facing the agricultural sectors in these countries. The research has resulted in the integration of diverse datasets on climate change hazards, vulnerability, and exposure, creating district-level climate risk maps for Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco.

The study analyzed both annual crops (rice, potato) and perennial crops (apricot, fig, grape, hazelnut, orange, and tangerine), providing crucial insights into the climate risks associated with each crop type. The findings are crucial in understanding the cross-border climate risks on key crop production, particularly concerning the agri-food trade between the EU and Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. They provide valuable decision support for governments, development agencies, and stakeholders, aiding in the formulation of informed actions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on agri-food trade.

Risk class distribution as a percentage of the national production of key crops for Turkey, Egypt,
and Morocco and presented for both the SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 climate scenarios.

The climate risk assessment of key crops for the Agri-Food trade between Europe, Africa, and Turkey is available for download on our website.


The objective of the study is to develop a high-level climate change assessment for Georgia with a focus on water resources and the agricultural sector. The work includes an assessment of climate-related impacts on water resources, identification of priorities at a national level, and preparation of a list of climate investment priorities based on climate analytics and appropriate tools and models and prior work done in the region. The output of the study will contribute to the proposed roadmap for the CAREC Water Pillar and will feed into the ongoing formulation of the Country Partnership Strategies for Georgia. The acquired results will inform follow-up work on the CAREC Water Pillar and provide input to future ADB programming and investment in the agriculture, natural resources, and rural development (ANR) sector.

The project consists of two major outputs:

  • Output 1: Estimation of future water resources for Georgia up to 2050
    A quantitative and qualitative assessment will be undertaken using a combination of primary and secondary data and analytics. The combination of data sources will define the current state of water resources and future water demands, considering population growth and changes in sectoral demand.
  • Output 2: Identification of opportunities for water resources development
    Opportunities for water resources development will be identified based on output 1, stakeholder consultations, the mapping of activities of other development partners, and desk-based literature review.

In June, FutureWater visited Mozambique for a training session on the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) model. The training was held at the Mozambique Regional Administration of Waters in the South (ARA-Sul) based in Maputo and was funded by the Blue Deal programme of the Dutch Water Authorities.

The training on the WEAP model comprised of a general introduction, knowledge clips, practical hands-on exercises, and a refresher course on the existing Strategic Water Allocation Model (WAM-S) that FutureWater developed for ARA-Sul in 2014.

In the forthcoming months the WAM-S will be updated to align with the current socio-economic and climatic developments of the region. The updating of the model will be performed in close collaboration with ARA-Sul. The update of the WAM-S model includes the addition of a groundwater component to support decision-making regarding water extraction licensing. We would like to express our gratitude to the Blue Deal programme for enabling the training and model update.

Theoretical session on WEAP modelling
Participants of the training

Eswatini’s development is at risk by natural drought hazards. Persistent drought is exacerbating the country’s existing challenges of food security and the ability to attain sustainable development. Therefore, FutureWater, Hydrologic, and Emanti Management joined forces to bring together technologies and complementary expertise to implement the GLOW service which includes: short-term and seasonal forecasts of water availability and demand, an alerting service when forecasted water demand is higher than water availability, and water distribution advisories to reduce impact and maximise water security for all water users.

The GLOW service will be piloted in the Maputo River and Mbuluzi River Basins where three-quarters of the population of Eswatini lives, which includes the Hawane dam that supplies water to Mbabane (Capital City of Eswatini) and which is the major water supply source for Maputo, a Delta city (1 million inhabitants) which suffers from water shortages. The main beneficiaries of this project are the Joint River Basin Authority (JBRAS-PB) and the 5 River Basin authorities, AraSul (Mozambique) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (South Africa).

The innovation of GLOW is bringing together proven and award-winning technologies of advanced earth observation, open data, high-performance computing, data-driven modelling, data science, machine learning, operations research, and stakeholder interaction. These technologies require minimum ground truth information, which makes them very scalable and applicable in poorly monitored environments throughout the world. The coherent combination of the technologies into one decision support service ensures the optimum division of water, basically distributing every drop of water to meet the demands of all interests present in large river catchments.