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Evaluation of CFSR climate data for hydrologic prediction in data-scarce watersheds: an application in the Blue Nile River Basin
Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2014 (English)In: Journal of the American Water Resources Association, ISSN 1093-474X, E-ISSN 1752-1688, Vol. 50, no 5, 1226-1241 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Data scarcity has been a huge problem in modeling the water resources of the Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Satellite data and different statistical methods have been used to improve the quality of conventional meteorological data. This study assesses the applicability of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) climate data in modeling the hydrology of the region. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was set up to compare the performance of CFSR weather with that of conventional weather in simulating observed streamflow at four river gauging stations in the Lake Tana basin — the upper part of the Upper Blue Nile basin. The conventional weather simulation performed satisfactorily (e.g., NSE ≥ 0.5) for three gauging stations, while the CFSR weather simulation performed satisfactorily for two. The simulations with CFSR and conventional weather yielded minor differences in the water balance components in all but one watershed, where the CFSR weather simulation gave much higher average annual rainfall, resulting in higher water balance components. Both weather simulations gave similar annual crop yields in the four administrative zones. Overall the simulation with the conventional weather performed better than the CFSR weather. However, in data-scarce regions such as remote parts of the Upper Blue Nile basin, CFSR weather could be a valuable option for hydrological predictions where conventional gauges are not available.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 50, no 5, 1226-1241 p.
Keyword [en]
hydrologic cycle, time series analysis, meteorology, CFSR, SWAT, Ethiopia, Upper Blue Nile
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102872DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12182ISI: 000342890600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102872DiVA: diva2:713720
Projects
Water resources management and social-ecological resilience
Funder
Formas
Available from: 2014-04-24 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Intensifying Agricultural Water Management in the Tropics: A cause of water shortage or a source of resilience?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intensifying Agricultural Water Management in the Tropics: A cause of water shortage or a source of resilience?
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Frequent climatic shocks have presented challenges for rainfed agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Appropriate water management practices are among the solutions to the challenges. The role of water harvesting in achieving sustainable agricultural intensification and specified resilience was explored. Suitable areas for water harvesting in the Upper Blue Nile basin were identified. The usefulness of the Curve Number method for surface runoff estimation was evaluated, and was found to perform satisfactorily. The impact of climate change in the Lake Tana sub-basin was studied. A decision support system was developed for locating and sizing of water harvesting ponds in the SWAT model. Methodological developments enabled analysis of the implications of water harvesting intensification in a meso-scale watershed in the Lake Tana sub-basin.

Results suggest that water harvesting can increase agricultural productivity, sustain ecosystems and build specified resilience, and thereby contribute to sustainable agricultural intensification. There is considerable potential for water harvesting in the Upper Blue Nile Basin. Rainfall may increase in the Lake Tana sub-basin due to climate change. Supplementary irrigation from water harvesting ponds and better nutrient application increased staple crop production by up to three-fold. Moreover, a substantial amount of cash crop was produced using dry seasonal irrigation. Water harvesting altered the streamflow regime, and reduced sediment loss from the watershed.      

Water harvesting can play an important role in food security. It showed potential to buffer climatic variability. In the watershed studied, water harvesting will not compromise the environmental water requirements. Instead, increased low flows, and reduced flooding and sediment loss may benefit the social-ecological systems. The adverse effects of disturbance of the natural flow variability and sediment influx to certain riverine ecosystems warrant detailed investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2014. 67 p.
Keyword
Water harvesting, Climate change, Climate variability, Multi criteria evaluation, SWAT, CN, sub-Saharan Africa, Upper Blue Nile, Lake Tana basin
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102878 (URN)978-91-7447-914-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-04, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Water resources management and social-ecological resilience
Funder
Formas
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 5: Epub ahead of print. Paper 6: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-13 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2014-09-30Bibliographically approved

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