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Possible Impacts of Climate Change on The Nile Flows And Future Water Management in the Nile Basin

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Mohamed Abdel Aty Sayed


Keyword(s): Climate Change, Nile, Rainfall runoff models, Nile Basin, Water Resources management
AbstractIntroduction Climate change will have various effects on water resources and water management in the Nile Basin. The large variability in projected climate scenarios over the Nile, which is the most vulnerable river basin, makes any policy reformulation in anticipation of climate change difficult. However, improved efficiency in regional water resources management and use is strongly recommended modes of action because they will benefit the region regardless of the degree and direction of climate change. Detailed studies of the river basins are essential to provide adequate information for future water resources planning and management. Objective The objective of this paper is to quantify the posible impacts of climate change on the Nile flows and future water management in the Nile basin, in the light of proposed integrated developments of the Eastern Nile (IDEN projects). Methods Main methods used in this study, is the analysis of historical trends of temperature and precipitation at different regions on the Nile, followed by finding a relation between precipitation and temperature at different regions on the Nile basin, together with checking the hydrologic elasticity of the Nile basin to spatial precipitation changes. Also, the climate scenario generator (MAGICC & SCENGEN) used to test the extreme future climate scenarios on the Nile basin based on emission scenarios and the anomalies of different GCMs. The data is generated at different catchments on the Nile. A distributed rainfall runoff hydrological model, Nile Forecast System (NFS) is recalibrated and validated using longer series of historical data and performance of the system in simulated the Nile basin catchments is reevaluated. Current water management challenges in the Nile basin is examined, and then a framework for future water management is examined in the light of current efforts for integrated development of the Nile. Results Main results show that temperature change exists on the Nile basin but with variable values. It is found, also that there is a significant non-linear relation between precipitation and temperature on the eastern Nile basin and there is no relation at the White Nile, while evaporation rates on the White Nile basin play a major impact on lake Victoria levels and runoff. The relation is developed and used to project the precipitation changes on the Eastern Nile till year 2050. The main findings through the analysis of different GCMs and emission scenarios that considered the extreme change till year 2050 indicated that the probability of wetting is higher than drying. The precipitation change showed that there will be spatial precipitation change on the Nile basin. Also, climate change will have direct impacts on the frequency of floods and droughts that requires rigorous regional commitment for cooperation, as well as long term commitment to integrated water resources management in the region. Conclusion Climate change is one of the risks that face the Nile basin countries that have to be considered in any future study. As a conclusion of this paper, the main impact of climate change on the Nile flows will range from 14% to 32%. This range represents the uncertainty in future emissions and its impacts on the precipitation and the flows on the Nile basin. This requires a rigorous regional cooperation to optimize the utilization of the Nile basin, as well as considering climate change uncertainty and impacts on future projects in the basin. The population growth has serious negative impacts on the Nile water resources. The future scenarios for Nile water availability till year 2050, show that strong actions need to be taken for increasing the water use efficiency and regional cooperation.
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