UNESCO-WCRP Workshop Program


Session 1: Co-chairman: Dr. Radwan Al-Weshah and Dr. Lawrence Martz
  • G-WADI presentation, Abdin Salih (UNESCO Tehran Office)
Session 2: Chairman: Dr. Abdin Salih
  • Overview of WCRP programs, Gilles Sommeria, WMO/WCRP
  • CLIVAR programs, Tim Palmer (CLIVAR chair)
  • Arab Region Water Activities of UNESCO, Radwan Al-Weshah (UNESCO Cairo Office)
Session 3: Chairman: Dr. Jean Khouri
  • Climate modeling and predictability, Tim Palmer, ECMWF
  • Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region (1), Dr. Amin Shaban, Lebanon
  • Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region (2), Dr. Fayez Abullah, Jordan
Session 4: Chairman: Dr. Ezio Todini
  • Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region (3), Dr. Abdalla Abdel Salam
  • Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region (4), Dr. Tarig El Gamri, Sudan
  • Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region (5), Dr. Jean Khouri, Syria
  • Discussion and identification of major water issues 

Session 5: Chairman: Dr. Gilles Sommeria
    • The GEWEX-WRAP Project, Lawrence Martz, U Saskatchewan , Canada
    • Recent approaches to water management in arid/semi arid regions and the need to assess future uncertainty including ensemble forecasting, Ezio Todini, Earth and GeoEnvironmental Sciences, U Bologna
    • Coupled modeling for water resources applications, Alain Pietroniro, Environment Canada
Session 6: Chairman: Dr. Thomas Maurer
    • Case Studies/Interventions from the Arab Regions (6), Dr. Abdulmalek Al-Jjbli, UAE
    • Case Studies/Interventions from the Arab Regions (7), Dr. Mohamed Abdel_Aty Sayed
    • Case Studies/Interventions from the Arab Regions (8), Dr. Mohamed El-Raey, Egypt
    • Case Studies/Interventions from the Regions (9), Dr. Mohamed Nazemosadat, Iran
    • Science Panel Response
Session 7: Chairman: Dr. Mohamad Abuldrazzak
  • Global data products for water resource application, Thomas Maurer, GRDC
  • Highlighting water scarcity and overuse with high-resolution global runoff fields, Ellen Douglas, UNH Institute for the Study of Earth oceans and Space
  • Remote sensing and the impact of climate variability on water resources, Bisher Imam , Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing, UC, Irvine
  • Supporting water professionals in arid and semi-arid areas: hydroclimatology information needs and G-WADI's knowledge transfer challenge, Gary Woodard , SAHRA, U Arizona
  • Plenary Session to synthesize presentations and breakout session discussions

  • Field excursion to the National Water Research Centre and Institute at Qanater Khairiah


Session 1

Co-chairman: Dr. Radwan Al-Weshah
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Weshah identified water scarcity among the constraints on social development in the Arab region and highlighted the effects of population growth and expansion of agriculture on exacerbating the impacts of this constraint. In addition, he provided an overview of the Role of UNSECO’s Cairo office in implementing IHP framework and in initiating programs such the WADI hydrology, which led, because of its success, to launching the GWADI initiative.

Co-chairman: Dr. Lawrence Martz
In his welcoming remarks, Dr Martz thanked the participants and organizers of the workshop. He also conveyed Dr. Sorooshian’s regret for not being able to attend the workshop. Dr. Martz pointed that recent advances in observation and modeling must have practical applications particularly in regions facing water resources challenges such as the Middle East. He also emphasized that the workshop, which brings together experts from the region and abroad, aims at identifying point of cross cutting interests, and establishing the requirement to move towards future cooperation in connecting advances in hydrological and meteorological sciences to water resources management in the region. The structure of the workshop has therefore been designed to: (a) encourage dialogue, (b) identify regional issues and problems, and (c) provide reciprocal feedback to the participants as well as to UNESCO and WCRP through the anticipated deliverables (Presentation media, report, recommendations, and potential white papers).

In response to Dr. Martz’s request, Dr. Sommeria provided a very brief review of WCRP’s role in developing and coordinating general program for research in climates (i.e. GEWEX). He indicated that the workshop was requested by WMO council.

Address on Behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, Minister of Water Resource and Irrigation, Egypt (delivered by Dr. Hussein Ehsan El-Atfy, Vice President, ICID and Secretary of ENCID).

Conveying His Excellency’s Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid’s greetings to the workshop participants, Dr. El-Atfy thanked the workshop organizers for selecting Egypt as the host country. He indicated that although difficult to predict, climate change will impact precipitation patterns over the Nile basin and, as a result, will compound the challenges of drought, flood, and sea water intrusion that are facing Egypt. Dr. El-Atfy briefly reviewed water resources research efforts in several of the twelve research institutes comprising Egypt’s National Water Research Center’s. He highlighted the role of operational forecasting at national, basin, and regional levels as exemplified by the real-time forecasting capabilities established at Egypt’s Nile Forecast Center and by the efforts to utilize the output of global simulation models in conducting scenario analyses for both the Nile’s basin and for Lake Nasser. Dr. El-Atfi pointed to the establishment of the Arab Water Resources Council as an important component of regional efforts to address water resources challenges including climate change. In addition, his remarks addressed the need to integrate model and natural uncertainties in developing rational water resource management approaches. He then emphasized that while the impacts of climate change will vary from country to country, there is a common need to build professional and technical capacities in developing countries and that international organization have a key role in accomplishing this task. Dr. El-Atfy concluded by expressing His Exellency Minister Abu-Zied congratulations to the organizers and his confidence that this workshop and subsequent meetings and joint activities will contribute to finding answers that will meet development needs while sustaining the natural systems.

G-WADI presentation: Dr. Abdin Salih (Director, UNESCO Tehran Office)

In his presentation, Dr. Saleh provided an overview of Arid Zones Programmes in UNESCO. After highlighting key water resource challenges (population, access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and shifting use patterns) in developing countries, the presentation provided a brief historical narrative of the evolution of various IHP phases with emphasis on the objectives and themes of IHP VI. He also discussed the evolution, objectives, mandates, and successes of the GWADI and the anticipated outcome of the workshop. The links between the workshop and potential contribution to other UNESCO programmes such as FRIEND, HELP, WWAP, and PCCP/WCF, were also explored. Dr. Saleh concluded by discussing IHP-VII (2008-2013) themes.

Session 2

Chairman: Dr. Abdin Salih
Rapporteur: Dr. Bisher Imam

Overview of WCRP programs: Gilles Sommeria, WMO/World Climate Research Program

This presentation introduced the workshop participants to WCRP and GEWEX. Indicating that WCRP focuses on international coordination of global observations, process studies, and modeling, Dr. Sommeria further elaborated on WCRP-Coordinated Observation and Prediction of the Earth System (COPES 2005-2015), which aims at increasing the range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefits and value to society that can be derived from analysis and prediction of earth system variability and change. The second part of the presentation introduced GEWEX objectives and the evolution of various GEWEX projects since 1980. Dr. Someria highlighted GEWEX contributions to answering some key relevant questions (e.g. is the hydrologic cycle accelerating). The presentation was concluded by a brief description of the current status of several GEWEX data sets, modeling studies, and continental scale experiments with linkage to pertinent GEWEX panels and an explanation of the role of regional scientists in launching and proposing new experiments and observation periods.

CLIVAR programs: Tim Palmer (CLIVAR co-chair)

As the chair of the CLIVAR program, Dr. Palmer’s presentation provided an overview of CLIVAR in context of overall WCRP activities. Highlighting CLIVAR’ mission, which is to observe and predict the Earth’s climate system with focus on ocean-atmosphere interaction, Dr. Palmer proceeded to describe CLIVAR’s research areas and the linkage between these areas and various research projects that address global observations, modeling, anthropogenic climate change, and paleoclimatic analyses and modeling studies. He also indicated to the workshop participants that CLIVAR is seeking scientists to study and assess global model integrations at regional scales in order to identify prediction skills, models’ applicability, models’ ability to simulate regional climatic phenomenon’s, and to quantify climate biases at regions of interests. Dr. Palmer concluded by reporting on recent CLIVAR conference and by inviting participants to make use of CLIVAR accomplishments in their own regional and country-based studies, while emphasizing that the outcome of CLIVAR activities included the (a) the creation a sustained demand for couple ocean-atmosphere model, remote sensing observations not to mention fostering a suite of intercomparison studies and enhanced observation networks.

Arab Region Water Activities of UNESCO: Dr. Radwan Al-Weshah (UNESCO Cairo Office)

Dr. Al-Weshah’s presentation addressed UNESCO’s role in promoting sustainable water resources management in the Arab Region. After introducing IHP and its mission, he discussed key water challenges in the Arab region including population growth, water quality issues, hydrologic complexity, water use efficiency, public awareness, and administrative/institutional/expertise issues. The presentation included a description of current projects coordinated by UNESCO’s Cairo office including the WADI hydrology, the Global Network on Water Resources Management in Arid Regions, and the Ground Water Protection Network. Dr. Weshah provided a report on workshops, training, publications and field manuals that were coordinated under the above-described activities. A description of the modeling, sediment, drought, and flood frequency analysis studies and training activities under the FRIENDS project was also provided. Dr. Al-Weshah concluded the presentation by discussing the institutional and informational challenges facing the implementation of UNESCO’s programs in the region. Among these challenges are (1) identifying the right partners, (2) sharing data and resources, (3) funding, (4) absence of common indicators of sustainability that are suitable for the unique characteristics of the region, and (5) governance.

Session 3

Chairman: Dr. Jean Khouri
Rapporteur: Dr. Gary Woodard

Climate modeling and predictability: Tim Palmer, ECMWF and Co-Chair, CLIVAR Science Steering Group

This presentation focused on probabilistic prediction of climate. Dr. Palmer outlined the
motivations and basic concepts of climate forecasting and provided a brief description of the ensemble weather forecasts, which are generated by perturbing initial conditions/forcing, and of the Multi-Model Ensemble Climate Forecast System, which combines ensemble predictions from several models to generate probability distributions of model output. The Development of the European Multi-model Ensemble System for Seasonal to Inter-annual Prediction (DEMETER) project was discussed as an example of a current approach for End-to-end forecast system that includes seasonal forecast--downscaling--application components, with examples covering crop yield (wheat--Europe, and groundnut--India), Malaria warning--Africa, and streamflow--Ganges River. As for Multi-model Ensemble Climate Change Prediction, Dr. Palmer’s presentation described the models, referencing methods, and the application of these scenarios to assess the probability of exceedence for global annual mean temperature under different scenarios.

Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources of Lebanon – Socio-Economic Implications (Lebanon): Dr. Amin Shaban, National Council for Scientific Research/Remote Sensing Center, Lebanon
    Dr. Shaban first outlined some of the natural and human-induced causes for water sector deterioration in Lebanon identified climate change as a new dimension that must be considered as it affects the productivity of source, supplies, and demand for water. He emphasized the development of hydrometeorologic/water resources data bases that provide a good picture of water-balance and demand-supply for the country. After a quantitative description of the key water balance components in and major climatic zones in Lebanon, Dr. Shaban presented indicators of change that could be discerned from the sparse data available in the country (Precipitation and Discharge). Then, he discussed the role of new technologies (i.e., remote sensing) in monitoring hydrologic variables (e.g. snow). The presentation was concluded by identifying pathways of climate change impacts on water resources, and potential coping strategies at individual, societal, and strategic levels. Herein the role of capacity building, policy development including non-conventional approaches, improved monitoring, and public awareness as important elements of Lebanon’s immediate, mid-term, and long-term strategies for coping with the impacts of potential climate change on water resources in Lebanon, was emphasized.
  • Evaluation of the impact of climate change on the monthly runoff of Zarqa River Basin (Jordan): Dr. Fayez Abdulla, Jordan University of Science and Technology
    This presentation addressed the application of hydrologic models to assess the impacts of climate change on the hydrologic response of the Zarqa River Basin (3300 mk2), which is a major surface water system in Jordan. The study approach included an assessment of the ability of two different GCM’s (Hadley, and MPI) to reproduce the baseline climatic conditions (1960-1998) over the basin. Following, the Surface infiltration baseflow hydrologic model (SFB), which was modified and calibrated to reflect the hydrological characteristics of arid-basins, was forced by climate change scenario (2xCO2) output from both GCM. The results indicated potential decreases in monthly runoff as well as in peak volumes with average annual change of 12% (Hadley) and 40% (IMP). These results were compared with incremental change (temperature and precipitation) scenarios. Dr. Abdullah emphasized: (a) the development of hydrologic models that are suitable for arid/semi-arid environment and (2) the assessment of GCM performance with respect to historical condition at regional and local scales as prerequisites of impact assessment studies in the arid/semi-arid regions.

Session 4

Chairman: Dr. Ezio Todini
Rapporteur: Dr. Mohamed Abdou

Case studies/interventions from the Arab Region (continued)
  • Gash Wadi Flood Management Challenges (Sudan): Prof. Abdalla Abdelsalam Ahmed. Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan
    To highlight the potential impacts of climate variability on flood hazards in Sudan, Dr. Abdelsalam Provided an historical review of recent floods in the Gash River, which drains a 21000 km2 catchment in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan where it forms a large delta (320,000 ha) after passing the town of Kassala (800,000 inhabitants). The river is characterized by torrential flows, with several severe flood episodes the largest of which occurred in 2003, when most of the town was flooded. A combination of anthropogenic factors, high sediment content of the flood, and lack of well-defined flood management responsibility have all aggravated the impact of the flood. These impacts included several million dollars of damage, not to mention the severe impact on local economy. In his conclusion, Dr. Abdelsalam Ahmed, emphasized the importance of proper understanding of the behavior of the Gash River before undertaking structural modification and/or training activities. Also, he emphasized the need for the development of discharge measurement infrastructure along with early warning system and clear designation of responsibilities as measures to cope with climate variability.
  • Rainfall of the Sudan and the Use of It’s Prediction Information In Water Resources Management (Sudan): Dr. Tarig El Gamri, Head, Water Resources Department, Desertification Research Institute, The National Centre for Research, Sudan
    This presentation addressed precipitation in Sudan. Dr. ElGamri started by discussing the spatial variability of precipitation in Sudan and discussing the factors influencing the temporal variability of rainfall in the country. He outlined research efforts to utilize ElNino, LaNina, and SST as predictors of precipitation. The study approach relys on Enso classification to discern various statistical relationship between ENSO and precipitation in several meteorological stations. While the analysis results support the presence of strong correlation between ENSO and precipitation, Dr. ElGamri argued that further studies are needed regaring the mechanism, estimation, and forecasts of precipitation in Sudan.
  • Drought and its Impacts on the Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of the Arab World: Dr. Jean Khouri, UNESCO Consultant, Syria
    In his presentation, Dr. Khouri discussed the climatologic hydrologic factors leading to drought conditions and the potential impacts of green house gasses induced global warming on these factors. In the Arab world, drought prone areas are related to four hydro-climatic zones. In the Mashrek zone (east), seasonal droughts are predominant such as those recently experienced (Jan-Oct 2000) with rare long term. droughts (1959-1962). The Maghreb (west) is mainly affected by recurring droughts, which can extend to several years (1980-84). The third zone is the Horn of Africa, which can also experience multi-year droughts such as the 1998-2000 drought, which resulted in severe food shortages. The Sahel climatic zone experience prolonged periods of recurrent droughts, such as those in the 1950’s and 1980’s. IN general, agriculture and water resources are the most affected sectors with first order impacts including covering crop yield and water shortages. These are followed by economic and social impacts, but data is lacking to quantify these higher order effects. Dr. Khouri introduced a method for drought impact assessment that relies on observation, comparative analysis, and simulations. These can be used to identify both qualitative aspects such as vulnerability, quantitative aspects such as susceptibility, and environmental aspects such as sensitivity to drought. The presentation was concluded by examples of discharge data from the Euphrates River and highlighted the sensitivity of areas with larger precipitation variability to drought.
Discussion and identification of major water issues - All Participants

The first day of the workshop was concluded with a discussion session. Although the session was informal and general, it focused on identifying existing gaps that must be addressed to improve utility of climate information in water resource planning and operation in the region. The results of the discussion can be grouped in two major points:

  • Climate Predictability and Use of Climate Predictions in Water Resources Management - Technical issues:Agreeing that statistical records show several trends, with some impacts, participants identified the following priority issues:
    Indicators: There is a need to develop a suite of indicators of climate change and climate change impacts that suitable to the region. While some of these indicators must be technically oriented in terms of describing hydrolmeteorological aspects of climate change, others must be able to describe a wide-range of socio-economic factors.
    Models, Scenarios, and Assessment of predictability: Several participants pointed to the absence of studies to assess the predictability of climate over the region as a key challenge to using climate model prediction in water resource management within the region. In addition, there is the issue of currently adopted climate model scenarios, and whether they are suitable to the region and/or adequate in describing the potential developmental challenges in the region. Questions such as why is the region dry?, what are the key hydrometeorologic, climatic, and general circulation factors that cause the region dryness?, were also raised.
    Hydrologic Models: Currently available hydrologic models, which are essential toconduct impact assessment studies, are less capable of describing the arid/semi-arid hydrology. As such, scientists in the region have to revise and modify hydrologic models in order to better describe local conditions. However, with the absence of sustained regionally/internationally coordinated efforts, our understanding of the hydrologic processes in arid/semi-arid regions remains incomplete. This poses significant limitation to the potential utilization of climate model output in water resource management.
    Data issues: Scientists in the region face the challenge of obtaining data even when collected within their own region. The ability to acquire data from WMO stations is not uniform within the various institutions and there is a need to facilitate such acquisition at regional (basin?) scales. In addition, researchers with training other than meteorological, find numerous model-output variables without adequate (non-specialist) variable description.
  • Regional Capacity and International Collaboration
    Absence of GEWEX Regional Experiment in the Region: One of the issues prominently raised by participants was the absence of an internationally coordinated GEWEX regional scale experiment within the Arab region. Such experiment will facilitate improved understanding of hydrologic processes in arid regions.
    Need for a Regional Climate Change Network: Participants identified the establishment of a regional network for climate change as a very significant step toward building capacity at regional and national level. This network will facilitate increasing policy makers’ awareness and interests in climate change issues. It will also facilitate the development of data base to collect and exchange data from various national agencies. Once a network is established, studies that identify the response of agricultural, rangeland, and water resource systems to climate change could be utilized to solicit institutional support from national ministers and regional and international entities through a regionally coordinated effort. In response to this issue, UNESCO representative indicated that UNESCO will be happy to facilitate the establishment of this network under the GWADI mandate.
    Other Issues: In addition to the above-listed gaps, the participants identified the declining number of meteorological stations in the region and at national levels as a key challenge especially because of the lack of information regarding the quality of collected data. The lack of a regional center for climate and weather forecasting was also considered as a major gap.

Session 5

Chairman: Dr. Gilles Sommeria
Rapporteur: Dr. Fayez Abdulla

The GEWEX-WRAP Project: Dr. Lawrence Martz, Chair, GEWEX Water Resource Applications Project, University Saskatchewan, Canada

Dr. Lawrence Martz, chair of GEWEX’s Water Resources Application Project (WRAP) introduced WRAP to workshop participants. He indicated that GEWEX research on global hydrology is driven by global concerns and by scientific investigations of climate change. GEWEX attempts to achieve a global understanding of water and energy cycle through interdisciplinary research and by capitalizing on the availability of satellite observations. Dr. Martz then discussed GEWEX objectives of measuring, modeling, and predicting global hydrologic and energy fluxes and storages and highlighted WRAP’s role in strengthening GEWEX linkage to water resources management and operational hydrologic forecasting communities. This is accomplished through (a) dialogue with both communities, (b) demonstration of skills in predicting climate change impacts, and (c) collaboration with operational agencies to improve predictions. The presentation also included a brief survey of WRAP activities over the past two years, and an overview of key issues, which emerged during various community dialogue workshops. Dr. Martz provided two examples of WRAP relevant projects including the Water Poverty Index (WPI) and the Hydrological Ensemble Prediction Experiment (HEPEX) project. He concluded his presentation by reiterating the objectives of the ongoing workshop and its role in articulating key regional water resources issues and communicating these issues to UNESCO, WCRP and to GEWEX leadership.

Recent approaches to water management in arid/semi arid regions and the need to assess future uncertainty including ensemble forecasting: Dr. Ezio Todini, Earth and Geo-Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy

The main objective of Professor Todini’s presentation is to survey state of the art in water resources management tools that are (a) capable of incorporating future climate uncertainties, (b) capable of addressing the distributed nature if hydrologic data and information, and (c) utilize state of the art in decision theory, and information technologies to provide water resources managers with the means to address climate change and variability scenarios. Dr. Todini started by briefly reviewing the history of water resources management theory leading to multiple criteria decision approaches and the introduction of the notion of sustainability and its integrative implications. Conceptually, these implications include, water as limiting of development, environmental concerns, socio-economic factors, and the consideration of the impacts of climate change and of uncertainties in observation and predictions. Such requires comprehensive analysis of the above-mentioned factors in an integrative manner, which forms the basis of integrated water resources management decision support systems. Dr. Todini introduced several examples of such systems and highlighted the pros and cons of these systems. He concluded the presentation by providing brief description of a new tool (WaterStrategyMan DSS), which takes into account the deficiencies of traditional WSM-DSS tools. This is accomplished by first identifying the key objectives of WSM-DSS as (a) support the strategy analysis at regional level and (b) compare strategies on the basis of different indicators. For DSS to accomplish these objectives, it must take into account regional development priorities, social and economic constraints, environmental constraints, and local, national or international legal constraints and directives. In the reminder of his presentation Dr. Todini exemplified how the WaterStrategyMan DSS accomplishes these tasks through the integration of GIS enabled user interface and modern decision theory.

Session 6

Chairman: Dr. Thomas Maurer
Rapportuer: Dr. Amin Shahban

Case Studies/Interventions from the Arab Regions (Continued)
  • Applying Climate Change Scenarios for Use in Water Resource Management in Arid and Semi-arid Regions A Case Study for Yemen: Dr. Abdulmalek Al-Jibly, Professor, Geography Department, San’a & UAE Universities
    Dr. Al-Jibly presented the results of his study of the potential impacts of climate change on Yemen for the decade of 2050. The study consisted of three main steps. The first step included identifying greenhouse gases emissions scenarios from the IPCC-1992 report. Dr. Jibly selected the IS92 scenario because it represented a mid range estimate of future greenhouse gases emissions, was used as a reference emission scenario by the International Negotiating Committee of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change and because of the availability of technical description documentation of the scenario’s underlying assumptions. Results from 14 different General Circulation Models (GCM) were considered and three (OSU--close to the average of the 14 models ensemble, UKHI, and ECHAM3TR--upper and lower bounds of predictions over Yemen) models were selected for the study area. Dr. Jibly found that all 3 scenarios projected increase in air surface temperature for Yemen by the decade 2050s with ECHAM3TR wet scenario producing the highest increase of temperature of 2.4 -+ 0.6 deg. C particularly in the country’s North. The magnitude of precipitation change is highly variable with increase between +26% to +254% for Tehama Coast and mountains, and (+79% to +230%) for central and eastern plateaus predicted by the wet runs and a country-wide decrease of 49% by dry runs. Dr. Jibly emphasized that while climate scenario are excellent tools, the complexities associated with identifying these scenarios limits their applicability in general, and over arid-semi-arid regions, more particularly. Additional limitations include the inadequate consideration considerations of the regional characteristics, micro and local environments and lack of participation of Arab governments in drafting these scenarios. He concluded by recommending care when using climate model scenarios, encouraging participants and UNESCO to gain higher level of local participation from climatologist and hydrologists, and requesting that the characteristics of arid and semi-arid regions be incorporated into the design of both climate models and of climate scenarios.
  • Nile Forecast System, An Overview: Dr. Mohamed Abdel_Aty Sayed, Manager, Nile Forecast Center Planning Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
    Dr. Sayed provided presentation introduced the participants to the activities of the Nile Forecast Centre, particularly with respect to the utilization of the Nile Forecast System (NFS) to provide both deterministic and probabilistic streamflow and stage forecasts at various locations along the River Nile. The presentation included a brief description of the system’s various components, which include processors (pre and post), hydrologic models, data-bases, user interface, and GIS. The system is capable of assimilating various types of satellite data, the primary of which is METEOSAT based precipitation estimates, which are produced locally from METEOSAT data. The hydrologic simulation is conducted using water-balance model (precipitation excess), a hill-slope model for overland flow routing, a channel routing model, and an extended streamflow prediction component that uses historical records and current states of the system to produce probabilistic forecasts. NFS is also equipped with a data assimilation tool that allows the adjustment of model state variables as new observations become available. In addition, all forecast activities could be managed from within the decision support interface. The decision support interface also includes tropical lake module and specific modules for the Blue and White Nile as well as a module for High Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser. These are essential in answering management question that require multiple simulations and what-if scenarios. Dr. Sayed provided examples of such question, which includes the identification of hydropower potentials of proposed projects, search for win-win scenarios, up/down stream conflicts, and potential performance analysis of Lake Nasser and High Aswan Dam under severe conditions.
  • Remote Sensing Assessment of Potential Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation in Egypt: Dr., M. El Raey, Professor, Institute of Climate Studies and Research, Univ. Alexandria, Egypt
    Dr. El Ray presented the results of several impact assessment studies conducted at the Institute of Climate Studies and Research. Recognizing that impacts of climate change would not be limited to changes in precipitation, but it could encompass the soil, sea level and coastal areas, as well as demand for fresh water, with potential change in the Nile river ranging from -78% to +30% according to various climate model scenarios. Dr. El Raey then focused on the utility of satellite data in conducting vulnerability studies in the coastal areas of Egypt, with emphasis on the Nile Delta in terms of identifying sites in need of protection, vulnerable land covers, areas if increased soil salinity, flood plain and flood path delineation. A quantitative example of potential impacts of various sea level rise scenarios on the city of Alexandria and surrounding Nile Delta cities was presented which revealed potential for serious, yet manageable impacts. Dr. Elraey discussed options of adaptations, which included periodic beach nourishment and integrated coastal management, and emphasized that vulnerability and adaptation continues to demand further investigation and improved observations. He concluded his presentation by providing a set of recommendations that included conservation, improved drainage systems and integrated coastal management approaches. In addition, his recommendations also included building capacity to conducted.
  • Drought Forecast in Iran; where are we and what we need to do Dr. Nazemosadat, M.J, Professor, Climate Research Center, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
    Dr. Nazemosadat’s started his presentation by stressing that water scarcity in the Middle East necessitates effective management, an element of which is climate predictions. In Iran for example, the economical damages of atmospheric disasters including flood, frost, heat waves, and particularly drought are considerably higher than the corresponding damages of earthquake, with the largest proportion of loss occurring during the 1998-2001 recent drought. In addition, earthquake damage could be exacerbated by drought. With prediction being the key element in natural disaster management, Dr. Nazemosadat argued for increased local, regional, and international cooperation in exchanging climate and weather forecasting expertise. He then provided a brief description of the drought prediction efforts carried at the Climate Research Center at Chiraz University, which include improved statistical and mathematical procedures such as principal component analysis, Empirical Orthogonal Function, Canonical Correlation Analysis, Monte Carlo re-sampling Analysis, Bootstrap analysis, and Neural Network analysis. These efforts have some skills in predicting seasonal precipitation based on the utility of ENSO signal as indicator. Dr. Nazemosadat concluded by presenting the results of some of his analysis, which indicate that warm ENSO events are associated with higher probabilities of wet autumn, while cold ENSO events are associated with higher probabilities of dryer autumn, particularly in the arid/semi-arid south.
Science Panel Response

Session 7

Chairman: Dr. Mohamad Abuldrazzak (Dr. El-Raey chaired)
Rapportuer: Dr. Lawrence Martz/Dr. Radwan Al-Weshah

Coupled modeling for water resources applications: Dr. Alain Piertonrio, NWRI – Environment Canada

Dr. Pietroniro presentation provided the workshop participants with an example of basin scale water and energy modelling experiment by introducing the activities conducted at the National Water Research Institute in Canada, with particular focus on those related the Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS). He started by outlining the differences between hydrologic and atmospheric models and outlined MAGS’s modelling strategy, which consists of utilizing various combinations of models at various spatial and temporal scales. Dr. Pietroniro then described the general strategy used by NWRI Canada to improve hydrologic modelling through coupled models that address the atmosphere-surface-subsurface components. Scientists at NWRI use multiple models “a family of models”. A central element of the approach is the Grouped Response Units (GRU), which represent areas of the watershed with similar hydrological response, each area is a collection of modeling grid cells, which provide the connection too the column-based atmospheric component and the directional routing components. The family of models included (a) WATFLOOD – Distributed Water Balance Model (b) WATCLASS – distributed water and energy balance model, (c) WATISBA – Simplified land surface scheme for numerical weather prediction models, (d) WATPAZ, which is a digital elevation processor, and (e) EnSIM, which provides the visualization component of the modeling strategy. Dr. Pietroniro presented examples of model performance and discussed the ongoing work within the Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction Experiment (HEPEX), which aims at representing uncertainties about future conditions into streamflow forecasts. He concluded by emphasizing the role of coordinated studies in bringing together hydrologic science and atmospheric science communities to provide the necessary integration mechanisms.

Global data products for water resource application: Dr. Thomas Maurer, Global Runoff Data Center

Dr. Maurer’s presentation focused on global data products for water resources applications. Indicating that disaster mitigation, risk management, assessment of intensity or requency of floods and droughts, and of the Impact of global change/climate change and variability onwater resources availability and use all require the availability of runoff data, he emphasized that much of the questions associated with the above issues can only be answered at global scale. While no evidence suggest a significant global trend over the last 20 years, regional anomalies occur and lead to the following questions how are regional trends distributed?, what is the human influence ?, and will intensity or frequency of extremes increase?. The Global Runoff Data Center (GRDC) collects, archives, and analyzes runoff data in support of answering these questions at global and regional scales. Dr. Maurer provided a brief history of GRDC and highlighted the fact that many areas within the arid/semi-arid Middle East continue to be under represented in terms of station record length, continuity, and overall availability. GRDC has facilitated several cooperative research studies on topics that include, but are not limited to global runoff, water balance, water availability and indicators, and trend analysis. He stressed that the reliability of many future studies will depend on the availability of discharge data to support such efforts. These now include topics such as relation between flow regimes and potential political conflicts on water in trans-boundary river basins, estimating hydrological extremes of the 20th century in major river basins, development of a physically consistent earth system model, streamflow validation for land surface models, and the examination of extreme precipitation and flood events in Europe during the past 100 years. Subsequently, Dr. Maurer presented some of GRDC products and their relevance to several international global modelling and research efforts such as the Global Land Data Assimilation Systems (GLDAS), and reported on the improved access and availability of GRDC stations in near real-time.

Highlighting water scarcity and overuse with high-resolution global runoff fields: Dr. Ellen Douglas, Univ. New Hampshire, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space

Dr. Douglas started by introducing the global Water Systems Project (GWSP). She stressed that integration across elements of local water systems, but with global perspective is a center GWSP objective. She issued an invitation to participant to Join Ranks of Initial Set of GWSP National & Regional Committees. Responding to some of the key questions raised by the workshop participant during previous discussions, the reminder of Dr. Douglas’s presentation focused on key water indicators including the Relative Water Stress Index (RWSI), Water Reuse Index (WRI), Vulnerability Index, and a suite of Water Scarcity Indicators at Global to Basin Scales. For each index, the geographic distribution of the index and the importance of spatial scale were discussed. In addition, Dr. Douglas demonstrated the potential use of water scarcity indicators as means to assess the impacts of climate change with consideration to socioeconomic factors such as population increase. In the second section of her presentation. the River Basin Information System (RBIS), which is a web-based management tool hosted at (http://www.watsys.sr.unh.edu/rbis-unep), was also presented. The system allows users to view visualize a large number indicators and data sets. Using these data sets, the system allows the used to compute composite indicators and to design their own indicators. Dr. Douglas then discussed the concept of virtual water as means to link water scarcity and food production. Virtual water in crop production is computed as the sum of modeled evapotranspiration (AET) over rain-fed croplands and potential evapotranspiration (PET) over irrigated croplands using output from Water Balance Model and a GIS. A report on recent progress in quantifying the impacts of climate change and population growth on several water impoundment related issues such as sediment trapping, sea level rise, and the acceleration of land subsidence was presented and the relationship between water scarcity and social conflicts was also discussed.

Remote Sensing and the impact of climate variability on water resources: Dr. Bisher Imam, Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing, Univ. California, Irvine

In his presentation, Dr. Imam discussed state of the art in remote sensing technologies and their relevance to climate change, variability, and water resources. Responding to some earlier questions pertaining to data availability, he introduced a new palmer drought index data set developed by NCAR and argued that such data sets could be verified against anecdotal and quantitative information available to experts in the region. After a brief discussion of the spatiotemporal scales of water resources issues, the presentation linked these scales to various insitu observations (streamflow, precipitation), predictive models, and remote sensing information of key hydro-meteorological variables (snow cover, precipitation, atmospheric sounding, clouds, skin temperature), oceanic (sea surface temperature, ocean color), and land (DEM, Land use, Land cover, FPAR, leaf area index, and NDVI) and related models such as GCM, Mesoscale, Land surface, hydrologic/hydraulic, and water resources applications. The presentation also introduced some of the data-base development efforts associated with G-WADI including the updated aridity index and the global precipitation product produced at the University of California, Irvine through the Precipitation Estimation Algorithm from Artificial Neural Network (PERSIANN) and the G-WADI global precipitation retrieval system developed by the Hydrologic Data and Information System (HyDIS) group and UCI. Dr. Imam concluded by presenting some of the recent advances in public domain data distribution systems, forecast evaluation decision support tools, data processing and visualization tools. Also, anticipated low cost instruments and future hydrologically relevant remote sensing mission (SMOS, GPM) were briefly discussed.

Supporting water professionals in arid and semi-arid areas: hydroclimatology information needs and G-WADI’s knowledge transfer challenge: Dr. Gary Woodard, SAHRA, University of Arizona

Dr. Gary Woodard reported on the recent accomplishments of the G-WADI knowledge transfer database being developed at the center for Semi Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas. After discussing the objectives of web-based, workshops/short courses, and print publications as key knowledge transfer tools, Dr. Woodard introduced SAHRA’s accomplishments with respect to each of these tools. With respect to the web-tools, SAHRA’s G-WADI site currently provides access to (a) Information on G-WADI and other UNESCO water initiatives (b) information on affiliated water centers, (c) Global Water News Watch E-zine, (4) Water News Tracker service (free subscription), (5) HydroArchive software sharing service, (6) HyDIS Hydrologic Data Information System data sets, (7) Resources on isotopes and other tracers in hydrology and (8) Teacher resources through the GLOBE program. He then proceeded to provide demonstrations of some of these tools with focus on the global water news network and news watch, which provide access to water news from more than 12 different new sources in the middle east, and allows the users to subscribe with customized topic, language, and frequency of acquisition of news-clips. Dr. Woodard also introduced various online tutorials and data-bases developed by SAHRA and will be made freely available to the international community under the auspices of G-WADI.