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University of Ottawa (2016)

Improving Seasonal Rainfall and Streamflow Forecasting in the Sahel Region via Better Predictor Selection, Uncertainty Quantification and Forecast Economic Value Assessment

Sittichok, Ketvara

Titre : Improving Seasonal Rainfall and Streamflow Forecasting in the Sahel Region via Better Predictor Selection, Uncertainty Quantification and Forecast Economic Value Assessment

Auteur : Sittichok, Ketvara

Université de soutenance : University of Ottawa

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2016

Résumé
The Sahel region located in Western Africa is well known for its high rainfall variability. Severe and recurring droughts have plagued the region during the last three decades of the 20th century, while heavy precipitation events (with return periods of up to 1,200 years) were reported between 2007 and 2014. Vulnerability to extreme events is partly due to the fact that people are not prepared to cope with them. It would be of great benefit to farmers if information about the magnitudes of precipitation and streamflow in the upcoming rainy season were available a few months before ; they could then switch to more adapted crops and farm management systems if required. Such information would also be useful for other sectors of the economy, such as hydropower production, domestic/industrial water consumption, fishing and navigation. A logical solution to the above problem would be seasonal rainfall and streamflow forecasting, which would allow to generate knowledge about the upcoming rainy season based on information available before it’s beginning. The research in this thesis sought to improve seasonal rainfall and streamflow forecasting in the Sahel by developing statistical rainfall and streamflow seasonal forecasting models. Sea surface temperature (SST) were used as pools of predictor. The developed method allowed for a systematic search of the best period to calculate the predictor before it was used to predict average rainfall or streamflow over the upcoming rainy season. Eight statistical models consisted of various statistical methods including linear and polynomial regressions were developed in this study. Two main approaches for seasonal streamflow forecasting were developed here : 1) A two steps streamflow forecasting approach (called the indirect method) which first linked the average SST over a period prior to the date of forecast to average rainfall amount in the upcoming rainy season using the eight statistical models, then linked the rainfall amount to streamflow using a rainfall-runoff model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)). In this approach, the forecasted rainfall was disaggregated to daily time step using a simple approach (the fragment method) before being fed into SWAT. 2) A one step streamflow forecasting approach (called as the direct method) which linked the average SST over a period prior to the date of forecast to the average streamflow in the upcoming rainy season using the eight statistical models. To decrease the uncertainty due to model selection, Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) was also applied. This method is able to explore the possibility of combining all available potential predictors (instead of selecting one based on an arbitrary criterion). The BMA is also capability to produce the probability density of the forecast which allows end-users to visualize the density of expected value and assess the level of uncertainty of the generated forecast. Finally, the economic value of forecast system was estimated using a simple economic approach

Sujets : statistical seasonal forecasting ; SWAT ; Bayesian model averaging ; uncertainty analysis ; economic value of forecast system

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Page publiée le 8 mars 2016, mise à jour le 31 décembre 2017