Publicacion: Climate risk management for water in semi‚Äďarid regions
Código: Ubicación:
Web: ISSN:
Año: 2014 ISBN:
Idioma: Inglés Link externo: ...
Tipo: Revista Indexada (ISI)
New sources of hydroclimate information based on forecast models and observational data have the potential to greatly improve the management of water resources in semi-arid regions prone to drought. Better management of climate-related risks and opportunities requires both new methods to develop forecasts of drought indicators and river flow, as well as better strategies to incorporate these forecasts into drought, river or reservoir management systems. In each case the existing institutional and policy context is key, making a collaborative approach involving stakeholders essential. This paper describes work done at the IRI over the past decade to develop statistical hydrologic forecast and water allocation models for the semi arid regions of NE Brazil (the ‚ÄúNordeste‚ÄĚ) and central northern Chile based on seasonal climate forecasts. In both locations, downscaled precipitation forecasts based on lagged SST predictors or GCM precipitation forecasts exhibit quite high skill. Spring-summer melt flow in Chile is shown to be highly predictable based on estimates of previous winter precipitation, and moderately predictable up to 6 months in advance using climate forecasts. Retrospective streamflow forecasts here are quite effective in predicting reductions in water rights during dry years. For the multi-use Oros reservoir in NE Brazil, streamflow forecasts have the most potential to optimize water allocations during multi-year low-flow periods, while the potential is higher for smaller reservoirs, relative to demand. This work demonstrates the potential value of seasonal climate forecasting as an integral part of drought early warning and for water allocation decision support systems in semi-arid regions. As human demands for water rise over time this potential is certain to rise in the future.

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