AnNa Waters is a research project of the Department of Geography and Geology of the University of Turku in Finland. It started in September 2011 and is developed and conducted in cooperation between Namibian, Angolan and Finnish scholars and with the local community and authorities.

AnNa Waters was created with the purpose of increasing the understanding of socio-ecological dynamics in the Cuvelai catchment between Angola and Namibia for improved sustainability and resilience. The project unravels past and present water dynamics and their climate connections, and builds regional scenarios of climate and hydrology under changing global climate. The key methods include sedimentology, remote sensing, climate model downscaling, fluvial modeling, geographic information systems and participatory planning.

Social surveys of local communities and other stakeholders have been conducted to study the impact of floods and droughts on people and social structures: how the local community can adapt and increase resilience to climate change. Survey results are shared and discussed with local stakeholders and the local community. In this way, the project aims at supporting regional development and planning plus water and disaster management. The main funding for the project is offered by the Academy of Finland.

Main objectives:
- To investigate past and present dynamics in the Cuvelai catchment using sedimentological evidence to unravel the interconnectedness between climate and the ecosystem;
- To assess the impact of future climate on water resources with hydrological modeling;
- To increase the understanding of socio-ecological dynamics in the area with surveys;
- To enhance local resilience to flood–drought fluctuation and climate change.

Benefits to the local community:
- Better understanding of catchment dynamics will increase local resilience to water fluctuation;
- Solving the future flood–drought challenges jointly with key stakeholders and residents will enhance understanding, commitment and social cohesion among the community members;
- Scientific results will support regional planning, master plans and cross-border co-operation;
- Improved adaptation via better water and disaster management will reduce adverse anthropogenic and material effects of climate change.

 
Study area
Study area
AnNa Waters method
AnNa Waters method
Iishana in Oshakati and Ongwediva
Iishana in Oshakati and Ongwediva

The outcomes of the pilot project include:
- Research network between Angola, Namibia, UK, Germany and Finland;
- Collaboration with local stakeholders and authorities to support research and disseminate results;
- Database of all available and relevant data and publications;
- Preliminary field campaigns to collect information to plan further research;
- Understanding of feasible climate and hydrological modeling approaches;
- Conception of feasible social‐ecological research approach and methodology in line with other work packages.

The projected key outcomes of the full project:
- Improved picture of the evolution of Cuvelai catchment and its ecosystem during the Holocene;
- Bigger picture of present social ecological processes in the Cuvelai, including fluvial and aeolian dynamics and general landscape change
- Regional climate model (RCM) based on the newest emission scenarios and sophisticated model downscaling (Cordex), and subsequent hydrological model to estimate and predict future discharges;
- A clearer picture of the feasible social ecological trajectories including land use planning and practices plus water management policies on different scales in a changing climate.