Understanding the timing and variability of rainfall is crucial for the effective management of water resources in river basins dominated by rainfed agricultural practices. Our study aimed to characterize rainfall and analyze the trends in the length of wet spells (LWS) in the Upper Awash River Basin—one of the most water-stressed river basins in Ethiopia. We applied statistical descriptors and a Mann–Kendall (MK) test to determine the onset, end, and LWS for the small (Belg) and main (Kiremt) rainy seasons across different landscapes of the basin. We observed highly stable rainfall onsets in all stations during both seasons. However, unlike the Kiremt season, the LWS in the Belg season was too short and unreliable for rainfed agriculture. Based on the MK test, an increasing monotonic trend in LWS during the Kiremt season was detected only in the mountainous landscape of the basin. In contrast, we observed no trends in the remaining stations in the Upper Valley region of the basin, despite the linear regressions inferring an upward or downward pattern. Our findings provide accurate climatological information for the effective development of rainwater management strategies in the Upper Awash River Basin.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support by the OJEong Resilience Institute (OJERI) at Korea University, the National Meteorological Agency (NMA) of Ethiopia, Debrezeit Agricultural Research Center, Wonji Sugar Factory, Metehara Sugar Factory, and Melkassa Agricultural Research Center for providing data for this research. In addition, we thank Fistume Yemenu and Ayalew Mamo for their constructive discussions.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Mann–Kendall trend
- Rainfall end
- Rainfall onset
- Upper Awash
- Wet spell length
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law