An increasing number of hydrological datasets from earth observations, hydrological models and seasonal forecasts have become available for water managers, consultants and the general public. These datasets are state-of-the-art products which are usually accessible online and may contribute to develop hydrological studies and support water resources management. However, the added value of these datasets has not been completely explored in decision-making processes. Research studies have assessed how well data can help in predicting climate, but there is a lack of knowledge on how well data can help in water allocation decisions. This work provides numerical tools, methods and results to evaluate the value of using hydrological datasets to support water allocation decisions at river basin and irrigation district scale. An integrated approach is used to predict climate, improve decisions and reduce negative impacts. Results show that investing in hydrological data with finer spatial and temporal resolution and longer periods of record improves water allocation decisions and reduces agricultural production loss in large irrigation schemes. Using river discharge data from hydrological models and global precipitation enhances irrigation area planning when little in-situ data is available. Moreover, using seasonal streamflow forecasts improves available water estimates resulting in better water allocation decisions. The framework was tested in Costa Rica, Colombia and Australia, but can be applied in any case study around the world.
General introduction, A tool to assess available hydrological information and water allocation decisions, The benefit of using an ensemble of global hydrological models in surface water availability estimates, Can global precipitation datasets benefit the estimation of the area to be cropped?, The benefit of using an ensemble of seasonal streamflow forecasts, Synthesis and recommendations for future research.
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.