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!