Blue-green water resource availability dynamics in the upper Awash basin, central Ethiopia: implications for agricultural water scarcity assessment

Birtukan Abebe Hirpa, Girma Berhe Adane, Minwoo Roh, Cholho Song, Dessie Nedaw, Asfawossen Asrat, W. K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Quantifying and characterizing the spatial distribution of freshwater availability and water scarcity plays an indispensable role in managing water resources in a basin. This study aimed at quantifying green and blue water resource availability using an eco-hydrological model under different land use land cover conditions between 2000–2010 and 2020 in the upper Awash basin, central Ethiopia. Further, the agricultural water scarcity is assessed for dominantly cultivated crops in the basin. The freshwater components such as the green water (GW) flow (∼1041–1240 mm/yr), blue water (BW) flow (277–304 mm/yr), and GW storage (809-872 mm/yr) were observed to be high in the western highlands compared to the central and eastern parts of the basin. The results of GW scarcity indices show low to moderate scarcity for rainfed crops, and moderate to significant BW scarcity for irrigated sugarcane. Integrating GW potential to reduce BW scarcity in the basin is thus crucial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2252767
JournalGeocarto International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by OJEong Resilience Institute (OJERI) at Korea University under the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (NRF-2021R1A6A1A10045235) and the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) grant funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Grant 23UMRG-B158194-04). This work is part of the Ph.D. dissertation of the first author (BAH) at the Africa Center of Excellence for Water Management, Addis Ababa University, under the supervision of AA and DN. The authors acknowledge the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA), the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy, FAO (for FAO-WaPOR database), and ECMWF's Copernicus Climate Change Service product databases for providing us data free of charge. In addition, we acknowledge Dr. Alemseged Tamiru, Dr. Fasikaw Atanaw and Professor Tenalem Ayenew for their constructive feedback on earlier versions of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Green water flow/storage
  • blue water flow
  • green/blue water scarcity
  • upper Awash basin
  • water availability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology


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