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Uncertainty of runoff projections under changing climate in Wami River sub-basin

Wambura, Frank Joseph, Ndomba, Preksedis Marco, Kongo, Victor, Tumbo, Siza Donald
Journal of hydrology 2015 v.4 pp. 333-348
Soil and Water Assessment Tool model, climate change, climatology, ecosystems, rivers, runoff, stream flow, uncertainty, Tanzania
The Wami River sub-basin is among the river sub-basins with a vital ecosystem in Tanzania. It comprises the Saadani National park and it has the very great potential of irrigation and rain fed agriculture.The objective of this study was to evaluate the uncertainty of future streamflow in respect of increasing water demands and uncertain projected climate inputs, General Circulation Models (GCMs). The water demands were projected to the year 2039 and GCM precipitation was selected as the changing climatic variable. The CMIP5-GCMs were evaluated for their skills and those with the minimum skill scores above 75% were downscaled and used in projection of scenario RCP 8.5 precipitation. Then uncertainties of RCP 8.5 precipitation were estimated using a fuzzy extension principle and finally used to simulate uncertainties of future runoff using a rainfall-runoff model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT).The results of projected streamflow shows that the baseline annual climatology flow (ACF) is 98m3/s and for the future, the median ACF is projected to be 81m3/s. At 100% uncertainty of skilled projections, the ACF from the sub-basin is projected to range between −47% and +36% from the baseline ACF. However, the midstream of the sub-basin shows reliable water availability for foreseen water uses expansion up to the year 2039.