The Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region is a land of contrast in water resources endowment which also follows the climate patterns in the region. The per capita renewable internal freshwater availabilities range from over 2000 cubic meters per capita in South Sudan to less than 100 cubic meters per capita in Sudan (World Bank, 2015). The region has many trans-boundary water resources such lakes and rivers are Rivers Nile and Shebelle and Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Turkana. The demand for available freshwater resources however, increases year by year due to the fast population growth. Climate factors, especially rainfall has significant impacts on availability and quality of water resources systems of the region.
The strategy for enhanced application of climate in water resources related sector includes:
Water Resources Monitoring and Modelling
Water resource monitoring and water balance based modelling using remotely sensed data complement each other and offers a great opportunity to understand the dynamic of water resources systems and as relatively cheap and faster early warning system.
Monitoring, Modelling and forecasting of rivers and water bodies using remotely sensed data to predict flows and water level of water bodies and rivers in the region that will be useful for the water resources, energy environment and disaster risk reduction sectors.
Carry out capacity building of member states in developing and utilizing water resources related products and services. The capacity building activities targets members of water resources, energy, irrigated agriculture and disaster risk reductions sectors.
Forecasting of Water Resources
- ICPAC carries out and issues seasonal climate forecast in the last week of February, May and August each year. These forecasts include rainfall and temperature. The forecasts which are normally in probabilities will be transformed to amounts and downscaled to the necessary temporal and spatial resolution using acceptable methodologies. This downscaled data will be then be used in the modelling activities stated above to forecast water resources related parameters such as discharge and water level.
- Such forecasts will be useful in aiding decision making in various sectors such as water utility, disaster risk reduction, energy and irrigated agriculture. This will also contribute in achieving ICPACs’ objective which is to provide time early warning information to mitigate the impact of climate variability.