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Wad Medani, Sudan

Gebremicael T.G.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Mohamed Y.A.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Mohamed Y.A.,Technical University of Delft | Mohamed Y.A.,Hydraulic Research Station | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

The landuse/cover changes in the Ethiopian highlands have significantly increased the variability of runoff and sediment fluxes of the Blue Nile River during the last few decades. The objectives of this study were (i) to understand the long-term variations of runoff and sediment fluxes using statistical models, (ii) to interpret and corroborate the statistical results using a physically-based hydrological model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and (iii) to validate the interpretation of SWAT results by assessing changes of landuse maps. Firstly, Mann-Kendall and Pettitt tests were used to test the trends of Blue Nile flow (1970-2009) and sediment load (1980-2009) at the outlet of the Upper Blue Nile basin at El Diem station. These tests showed statistically significant increasing trends of annual stream flow, wet season stream flow and sediment load at 5% confidence level. The dry season flow showed a significant decrease in the trend. However, during the same period the annual rainfall over the basin showed no significant trends. The results of the statistical tests were sensitive to the time domain. Secondly, the SWAT model was used to simulate the runoff and sediment fluxes in the early 1970s and at the end of the time series in 2000s in order to interpret the physical causes of the trends and corroborate the statistical results. A comparison of model parameter values between the 1970s and 2000s shows significant change, which could explain catchment response changes over the 28. years of record. Thirdly, a comparison of landuse maps of 1970s against 2000s shows conversion of vegetation cover into agriculture and grass lands over wide areas of the Upper Blue Nile basin. The combined results of the statistical tests, the SWAT model, and landuse change detection are consistent with the hypothesis that landuse change has caused a significant change of runoff and sediment load from the Upper Blue Nile during the last four decades. This is an important finding to inform optimal water resources management in the basin, both upstream in the Ethiopian highlands, and further downstream in the plains of Sudan and Egypt. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Kiptala J.K.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Kiptala J.K.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Mohamed Y.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Mohamed Y.,Technical University of Delft | And 5 more authors.
Water Resources Research | Year: 2013

Evapotranspiration (ET) accounts for a substantial amount of the water use in river basins particular in the tropics and arid regions. However, accurate estimation still remains a challenge especially in large spatially heterogeneous and data scarce areas including the Upper Pangani River Basin in Eastern Africa. Using multitemporal Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Surface Energy Balance Algorithm of Land (SEBAL) model, 138 images were analyzed at 250 m, 8 day scales to estimate actual ET for 16 land use types for the period 2008-2010. A good agreement was attained for the SEBAL results from various validations. For open water evaporation, the estimated ET for Nyumba ya Mungu (NyM) reservoir showed a good correlations (R=0.95; R 2=0.91; Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Root Means Square Error (RMSE) of less than 5%) to pan evaporation using an optimized pan coefficient of 0.81. An absolute relative error of 2% was also achieved from the mean annual water balance estimates of the reservoir. The estimated ET for various agricultural land uses indicated a consistent pattern with the seasonal variability of the crop coefficient (Kc) based on Penman-Monteith equation. In addition, ET estimates for the mountainous areas has been significantly suppressed at the higher elevations (above 2300 m a.s.l.), which is consistent with the decrease in potential evaporation. The calculated surface outflow (Qs) through a water balance analysis resulted in a bias of 12% to the observed discharge at the outlet of the river basin. The bias was within 13% uncertainty range at 95% confidence interval for Qs. SEBAL ET estimates were also compared with global ET from MODIS 16 algorithm (R=0.74; R2=0.32; RMSE of 34% and MAE of 28%) and comparatively significant in variance at 95% confidence level. The interseasonal and intraseasonal ET fluxes derived have shown the level of water use for various land use types under different climate conditions. The evaporative water use in the river basin accounted for 94% to the annual precipitation for the period of study. The results have a potential for use in hydrological analysis and water accounting. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Betrie G.D.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Betrie G.D.,Technical University of Delft | Mohamed Y.A.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Mohamed Y.A.,Technical University of Delft | And 3 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2011

Soil erosion/sedimentation is an immense problem that has threatened water resources development in the Nile river basin, particularly in the Eastern Nile (Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt). An insight into soil erosion/sedimentation mechanisms and mitigation methods plays an imperative role for the sustainable water resources development in the region. This paper presents daily sediment yield simulations in the Upper Blue Nile under different Best Management Practice (BMP) scenarios. Scenarios applied in this paper are (i) maintaining existing conditions, (ii) introducing filter strips, (iii) applying stone bunds (parallel terraces), and (iv) reforestation. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to model soil erosion, identify soil erosion prone areas and assess the impact of BMPs on sediment reduction. For the existing conditions scenario, the model results showed a satisfactory agreement between daily observed and simulated sediment concentrations as indicated by Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency greater than 0.83. The simulation results showed that applying filter strips, stone bunds and reforestation scenarios reduced the current sediment yields both at the subbasins and the basin outlets. However, a precise interpretation of the quantitative results may not be appropriate because some physical processes are not well represented in the SWAT model. © Author(s) 2011.

Tesemma Z.K.,Bahir Dar University | Mohamed Y.A.,International Water Management Institute | Mohamed Y.A.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Mohamed Y.A.,Hydraulic Research Station | And 2 more authors.
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2010

Most of the water from the Nile originates in Ethiopia but there is no agreement on how land degradation or climate change affects the future flow in downstream countries. The objective of this paper is to improve the understanding of future conditions by analysing historical trends. During the period 1964-2003, the average monthly basin-wide precipitation and monthly discharge data were collected and analysed statistically for two stations in the upper 30% of the Blue Nile Basin and monthly and 10-day discharge data of one station at the Sudan-Ethiopia border. A rainfall-runoff model examined the causes for observed trends. The results show that, while there was no significant trend in the seasonal and annual basin-wide average rainfall, significant increases in discharge during the long rainy season (June to September) were observed at all three stations. In the upper Blue Nile, the short rainy season flow (March to May) increased, while the dry season flow (October to February) stayed the same. At the Sudan border, the dry season flow decreased significantly with no change in the short rainy season flow. The difference in response was likely due to the construction of weir in the 1990s at the Lake Tana outlet that affected the upper Blue Nile discharge significantly but affected less than 10% of the discharge at the Sudan border. The rainfall-runoff model reproduced the observed trends, assuming that an additional 10% of the hillsides were eroded in the 40-year time span and generated overland flow instead of interflow and base flow. Models concerning future trends in the Nile cannot assume that the landscape runoff processes will remain static. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..

Omer A.Y.A.,UNESCO IHE | Omer A.Y.A.,Dams Implementation Unit of Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity | Ali Y.S.A.,UNESCO IHE | Ali Y.S.A.,Hydraulic Research Station | And 6 more authors.
Earth Surface Dynamics | Year: 2015

Roseires Reservoir, located on the Blue Nile River in Sudan, is the first trap to the sediments coming from the vast upper river catchment in Ethiopia, which suffers from high erosion and desertification problems. The reservoir has already lost more than one-third of its storage capacity due to sedimentation in the last four decades. Appropriate management of the eroded soils in the upper basin could mitigate this problem. In order to do that, the areas providing the highest sediment volumes to the river have to be identified, since they should have priority with respect to the application of erosion control practices. This requires studying the sedimentation record inside Roseires Reservoir in order to assess when and how much sediment is deposited and to identify its source. This paper deals with the identification of deposition time and soil stratification inside the reservoir, based on historical bathymetric data, numerical modelling and newly acquired soil data. The remoteness of the study area and the extreme climate result in coring campaigns being expensive and difficult. Therefore, these activities need to be optimised and coring locations selected beforehand. This was done by combining bathymetric data and the results of a depth-averaged morphodynamic model recording the vertical stratification in sediment deposits. The model allowed for recognising the areas that are potentially subject to neither net erosion nor bar migration during the lifespan of the reservoir. Verification of these results was carried out by analysing sediment stratification from the data collected during the subsequent field campaign. © 2015 Author(s).

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