Africa has been severely affected by droughts in the past, contributing to food insecure conditions in several African countries. In view of the (even more) severe drought conditions and water shortage that may be expected in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years, efforts should focus on improving drought management by ameliorating resilience and preparedness to drought.
This study contributes to the development of a modelling framework for hydrological drought forecasting in sub-Saharan Africa as a step towards an effective early warning system. The proposed hydrological drought forecasting system makes use of a hydrological model that was found to be suitable for drought forecasting in Africa and could represent the most severe past droughts in the Limpopo Basin. The modelling results showed that there is an added value in computing indicators based on the hydrological model for the identification of droughts and their severity. The proposed seasonal forecasting system for the Limpopo Basin was found to be skilful in predicting hydrological droughts during the summer rainy season. The findings showed that the persistence of the initial hydrological conditions contribute to the predictability up to 2 to 4 months, while for longer lead times the predictability of the system is dominated by the meteorological forcing.
An effective drought forecasting and warning system will hopefully contribute to important aspects in the region such as water security, food security, hazard management, and risk reduction.
1 General introduction
2 A review of continental scale hydrological models and their suitability for drought forecasting in (sub-Saharan) Africa
3 Comparison of different evaporation estimates over the African continent
4 Identification and simulation of space-time variability of past hydrological drought events in the Limpopo River basin
5 Downscaling the output of a low resolution hydrological model to higher resolutions
6 Hydrological drought forecasting and skill assessment for the Limpopo River basin
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.