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Integrated management of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia: Hydropower and irrigation modeling


  • Block, Paul J.


"Ethiopia is at a critical crossroads with a large and increasing population, a depressed national economy, insufficient agricultural production, and a low number of developed energy sources. The upper Blue Nile basin harbors considerable untapped potential for irrigation and hydropower development and expansion. Numerous hydrologic models have been developed to assess hydropower and agricultural irrigation potential within the basin, yet often fail to adequately address critical aspects, including the transient stages of large-scale reservoirs, relevant flow retention policies and associated downstream ramifications, and the implications of stochastic modeling of variable climate and climate change. A hydrologic model with dynamic climate capabilities is constructed to assess these aspects. The model indicates that large-scale development typically produces benefit-cost ratios from 1.2-1.8 under historical climate regimes for the projects specified. Climate change scenarios indicate potential for small benefit-cost increases, but reflect possible significant decreases. Stochastic modeling of scenarios representing a doubling of the historical frequency of El Niño events indicates benefit-cost ratios as low as 1.0 due to a lack of timely water. An evaluation of expected energy growth rates reinforces the need for significant economic planning and the necessity of securing energy trade contracts prior to extensive development. A Ramsey growth model for energy development specifies project multipliers on total GDP over the 100-year simulation ranging from 1.7-5.2, for various climatologic conditions." Author's Abstract

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  • Block, Paul J., 2007. "Integrated management of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia: Hydropower and irrigation modeling," IFPRI discussion papers 700, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:700

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thurlow, James, 2007. "Is HIV/AIDS undermining Botswana's ‘success story'? implications for development strategy:," IFPRI discussion papers 697, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Diao, Xinshen & Pratt, Alejandro Nin & Ghautam, Madhur & Keough, James & Chamberlin, Jordan & You, Liangszi & Puetz, Detlev & Resnick, Danielle & Yu, Bingxin, 2005. "Growth options and poverty reduction in Ethiopia," DSGD discussion papers 20, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Robyn Johnston & Vladimir Smakhtin, 2014. "Hydrological Modeling of Large river Basins: How Much is Enough?," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 28(10), pages 2695-2730, August.
    2. World Bank [WB], 2016. "High and Dry : Climate Change, Water, and the Economy," Working Papers id:10736, eSocialSciences.
    3. McCartney, Matthew & Demissie, Solomon, S. & Girma, M. M., 2013. "Implications of climate change on existing and planned water resource development in the Upper Blue Nile," Conference Papers h046354, International Water Management Institute.

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    Water resources development; Hydrologic model; Energy; Climate variability; Climate change; Irrigation;

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