Nov 25, 2015

"Poverty reduction in Ethiopia in the last decade have been closely associated with unusually reliable rainfall"

Last week  in Addis Ababa EGU conference, I met Professor Simon Dadson who is the co-investigator of this new and large (from 2015-2022)  project called REACH . The project is funded by the UK government and hosted by oxford university school of Geography and the Environment, aiming to conduct water security and poverty issues in three countries:  Kenya, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.   This is really the beginning of  interesting effort, and I hope  it will accrue wealth of  knowledge and understanding on the clear  relationship between water resources availability (security) and level of poverty. 

While I will follow their efforts and works closely in this regards, at the moment, browsing  the project website I have seen this interesting statement "Major reductions in poverty [in Ethiopia] in the last decade have been closely associated with unusually reliable rainfall".  It is true that small land-hold rain-fed agriculture farmer in Ethiopia depends mainly on nature of rainfall. However, I never noticed this contribution to the recent 'poverty reduction' process. In fact the climatological drought we have this year due to El Nino is  highly (directly) contributing to agricultural drought and famine.  

Understanding the rainfall patterns, or be able to forecast it, and estimation of  its effect on hydrological and agricultural drought is crucial step. If possible,  hydrological forecasting for future short time such as for one/two week(s) would really be very interesting challenge that I would like to do in my academic career life!

Nov 24, 2015

EGU Topical conference

This year, three important meetings of water science  jointly organised at Addis Ababa, from November 18-20, 2015.  The three meetings are the Alexander von Humboldt Conference of the European Geosciences Union, the STAHY workshop of the International Commission on Statistical Hydrology of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (ICSH-IAHS) and the Leonardo Conference of the Hydrological Sciences Division of the European Geosciences Union. While there were a lot of good presentation, the following three presentations were more interesting topics of  basin water balance modelling  in general and our (my) approach of doing water balance estimation in particular. 
  • Towards Optimization of Reservoir Operations for Hydropower Production in East Africa: Seasonal Climate Forecasts (Leonardo Lecture) --- by Mekonnen Gebremichael. Abstract 
  • Education and TAHMO, the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory --- by Nick van de Giesen. Abstract  
  • How important are soils for hydrological modelling?  --- by Hubert H.G. Savenije. Abstrac 
  • characterisation of the regional variability of seasonal water balances within the Omo-Gibe River basin --- by Adanech Yared Jillo 
I had two presentations: One on the comparison of satellite rainfall estimation products for the purpose of basin water balance modelling inputs, and the second was a work in progress on JGrass-NewAge set-up for water balance estimation in Upper Blue Nile basin.  The abstract can be found here and here, respectively. A video of  one of the my presentation (or a part of it) is recorded by my friend and can also be found in this you tube.