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Long-term variability in potential evapotranspiration, water availability and drought under climate change scenarios in the Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

journal contribution
posted on 25.08.2020, 00:00 authored by M Tadese, L Kumar, Richard KoechRichard Koech
Understanding the hydrological processes of a watershed in response to climate change is vital to the establishment of sustainable environmental management strategies. This study aimed to evaluate the variability of potential evapotranspiration (PET) and water availability in the Awash River Basin (ARB) under different climate change scenarios and to relate these with long-term drought occurrences in the area. The PET and water availability of the ARB was estimated during the period of 1995–2009 and two future scenarios (2050s and 2070s). The representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) simulations showed an increase in the monthly mean PET from March to August in the 2050s, and all the months in the 2070s. The study also identified a shortage of net water availability in the majority of the months investigated and the occurrence of mild to extreme drought in about 40–50% of the analysed years at the three study locations (Holetta, Koka Dam, and Metehara). The decrease in water availability and an increase in PET, combined with population growth, will aggravate the drought occurrence and food insecurity in the ARB. Therefore, integrated watershed management systems and rehabilitation of forests, as well as water bodies, should be addressed in the ARB to mitigate climate change and water shortage in the area.

History

Volume

11

Issue

9

Start Page

1

End Page

19

Number of Pages

19

eISSN

2073-4433

Publisher

MDPI AG

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Acceptance Date

17/08/2020

External Author Affiliations

University of New England

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Atmosphere