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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-340
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
21 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Statistical forecast of seasonal discharge in Central Asia for water resources management: development of a generic linear modelling tool for operational use
Heiko Apel1, Zharkinay Abdykerimova2, Marina Agalhanova3, Azamat Baimaganbetov4, Nedejda Gavrilenko5, Lars Gerlitz1, Olga Kalashnikova6, Katy Unger-Shayesteh1, Sergiy Vorogushyn1, and Abror Gafurov1 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience, Section 5.4 Hydrology, Potsdam, Germany
2Hydro-Meteorological Service of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
3Hydro-Meteorological Service of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
4Hydro-Meteorological Service of Kazakhstan, Almaty, Kazakhstan
5Hydro-Meteorological Service of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
6CAIAG Central Asian Institute for Applied Geoscience, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Abstract. The semi-arid regions of Central Asia crucially depend on the water resources supplied by the mountainous areas of the Tien Shan, Pamir and Altai mountains. During the summer months the snow and glacier melt dominated river discharge originating in the mountains provides the main water resource available for agricultural production, but also for storage in reservoirs for energy generation during the winter months. Thus a reliable seasonal forecast of the water resources is crucial for a sustainable management and planning of water resources. In fact, seasonal forecasts are mandatory tasks of all national hydro-meteorological services in the region. In order to support the operational seasonal forecast procedures of hydro-meteorological services, this study aims at the development of a generic tool for deriving statistical forecast models of seasonal river discharge. The generic model is kept as simple as possible in order to be driven by available meteorological and hydrological data, and be applicable for all catchments in the region. As snowmelt dominates summer runoff, the main meteorological predictors for the forecast models are monthly values of winter precipitation and temperature, satellite based snow cover data and antecedent discharge. This basic predictor set was further extended by multi-monthly means of the individual predictors, as well as composites of the predictors. Forecast models are derived based on these predictors as linear combinations of up to 3 or 4 predictors. A user selectable number of best models is extracted automatically by the developed model fitting algorithm, which includes a test for robustness by a leave-one-out cross validation. Based on the cross validation the predictive uncertainty was quantified for every prediction model. Forecasts of the mean seasonal discharge of the period April to September are derived every month starting from January until June. The application of the model for several catchments in Central Asia – ranging from small to the largest rivers – for the period 2000–2015 provided skilful forecasts for most catchments already in January. The skill of the prediction increased every month, with R2 values often in the range 0.8–0.9 in April just before the prediction period. In summary, the proposed generic automatic forecast model development tool provides robust predictions for seasonal water availability in Central Asia, which will be tested against the official forecasts in the upcoming years, with the vision of operational implementation.

Citation: Apel, H., Abdykerimova, Z., Agalhanova, M., Baimaganbetov, A., Gavrilenko, N., Gerlitz, L., Kalashnikova, O., Unger-Shayesteh, K., Vorogushyn, S., and Gafurov, A.: Statistical forecast of seasonal discharge in Central Asia for water resources management: development of a generic linear modelling tool for operational use, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-340, in review, 2017.
Heiko Apel et al.
Heiko Apel et al.
Heiko Apel et al.

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Short summary
Central Asia (CA) crucially depends on the water resources supplied by the mountains during summer caused by snow melt. We propose a generic tool for statistical forecasts of seasonal discharge, crucial for water resources management. The predictors for the models are precipitation and temperature, snow coverage and discharge. Forecast models are derived as linear regressions. The application of the model for several catchments in CA provided very skilful forecasts already in January.
Central Asia (CA) crucially depends on the water resources supplied by the mountains during...
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