Assessing the impact of climate change on water resources of upper Awash River sub-basin, Ethiopia

Eshetu Ararso Heyi, Megersa Olumana Dinka, Girma Mamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study tried to assess the impact of climate change on water resources of the upper Awash River subbasin (Ethiopia) using a statistical downscaling model (SDSM). The future climatic parameters (rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures) were generated by downscaling outputs of HadCM3 (Hadley Centre Coupled Model, version 3) general circulation model to watershed level for A2a (medium-high) and B2a (medium-low) emission scenarios at representative stations (Addis Ababa, Ginchi and Bishoftu). These SDSM generated climatic data were used to develop current/baseline period (1971–2010) and future climate change scenarios: 2020s (2011–2040), 2050s (2041–2070) and 2080s (2071–2099). The projected future rainfall and mean monthly potential evapotranspiration at these stations were weighted and fed to HBV hydrological model (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning model) for future stream flow simulation. These simulated future daily flow time series were processed to monthly, seasonal and annual time scales and the values were compared with that of base period for impact assessment. The simulation result revealed the possibility for significant mean flow reductions in the future during Summer or “Kiremt” (main rainy season) and apparent increase during “Belg” or winter (dry season). Autumn flow volume showed decreasing trend (2020s), but demonstrated increasing trend at 2050s and 2080s. A mean annual flow reduction (ranging from 13.0 to 29.4%) is also expected in the future for the three studied benchmark periods under both emission scenarios. Generally, the result signals that the water resources of upper Awash River basin will be expected to be severely affected by the changing climate. Therefore, different adaptation options should be carried out in order to reduce the likely impact and ensure water security in the sub-basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-244
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Water and Land Development
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • climate change
  • downscaling
  • emission scenario
  • hydrologic modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the impact of climate change on water resources of upper Awash River sub-basin, Ethiopia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this