Planning & Management
393848 - Coupling local-scale hydroclimate forecasts with reservoir operation models for enhanced water management in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia
Wednesday, June 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Greenway GH
Paul Block, Madison, WI – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Skillful season-ahead hydroclimate forecasts conditioned on local and global climate variables may provide valuable knowledge to farmers and reservoir operators, enabling informed water resource allocation and management decisions. In Ethiopia, the potential for advancing irrigated agriculture and hydropower management, and subsequently economic growth, is substantial. Yet, challenges remain with regard to skillful prediction at the decision-making scale, lead time, and uncertainty. Statistical precipitation and streamflow forecasts, conditioned on climate variables specific to the local region, are developed at the local scale for the Finchaa hydropower dam and Koga irrigation reservoir in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia, following evaluation of downscaled dynamic and regional empirical models. Locally tailored forecasts using Principle Component Regression provide indication of skill at the local, decision-making scale for various lead times prior to the dominant rainy season. Yet, skillful forecast development is not sufficient; the value of season-ahead forecasts to farmers requires integration of predictive information into management decisions. Thus, season-ahead hydroclimate predictions are coupled with reservoir operations models in effort to investigate changes in optimal management strategy under various climate conditions. Locally coupled hydroclimate forecast and reservoir management models address existing disconnects between the relevant scale and skill of current models, with applications for enhanced agricultural planning and management in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia.