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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 3: Rainwater Catchment and Droughts

Paper 3.2

Potential Benefits of Tropical Seasonal Rainfall Forecasting for Rainwater Catchment Systems

Carlos Oliveira Galvão & Robin T. Clarke
Department of Civil Engineering
Federal University of Paraíba
Caixa Postal 505
Campina Grande, PB 58100-970, Brazil


Much work has been done recently on interannual and seasonal rainfall forecasting for the tropics. Such forecasts are usually reliable at a regional or macro scale, but are less successful at the meso- or local scales, which are of interest for rainwater catchment systems. Methods are needed for the transfer of seasonal rainfall forecasts to the management of rainwater catchment systems and for evaluating their performance. This paper addresses the topic and presents an approach for transferring forecasts from regional to basin or local scales and an evaluation of their skill (as defined in the paper) for the Brazilian Nordeste. The results show that forecast skill decays as the scale becomes smaller and that forecasts are still of limited use at the local scale. On the other hand, they can be immediately useful for regional early warning applications, as well as for the management of larger rainwater catchment systems, such as those of large reservoirs.

PDF of full document (6pp, 40kb)

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