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Uncertainty

IDENTIFICATION, ESTIMATION, QUANTIFICATION AND
INCORPORATION OF RISK AND UNCERTAINTY IN WATER RESOURCES
MANAGEMENT TOOLS IN SOUTH AFRICA

A Water Research Commission Project (K5/1838) combined with a NRF project
under the Key International Scientific Cooperation Fund.

While there will always be uncertainty in the information that is used to manage water resources, an improved understanding of the sources and magnitude or extent of that uncertainty, should contribute to improved management practices. On the one hand, resources could be directed at reducing the uncertainty (improved monitoring, estimation methods, training, etc.), while on the other hand the uncertainty can be accounted for as part of risk management within decision making processes. It is therefore important to improve (i) our understanding and quantitative knowledge of the various sources of uncertainty, (ii) the way in which this is communicated to water resource managers and other stakeholders and (iii) the way in which uncertainty is incorporated into water resource management decision making.

Project Team

Project leader: Prof. Denis Hughes, IWR, Rhodes University
Researchers: Prof. Jeffrey Smithers, BEEH, UKZN
Mr Stephen Mallory, Water for Africa
Ms Anne Beater, Water for Africa
Post-graduate students: Dr Tendai Sawunyama, IWR, Rhodes University (Graduated 2009), now Water for Africa
Mr Evison Kapangaziwiri, IWR, Rhodes University
Ms Siphosihle Bukhosini, IWR, Rhodes University
Mr Mehari, Frezghi, BEEH, UKZN
International collaborators: Dr Thorsten Wagener, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Project Deliverables

Individuals and organizations interested in the progress of the project can access the project deliverables and other resources as they are completed and added to this web page.

1 - Project inception report
This deliverable is designed to elaborate on the project proposal and provide further details of the project organization and the remainder of the deliverables listed below.
2 - Literature review
This deliverable consists of a detailed literature review of existing knowledge and practices relating to the estimation of uncertainty and the management of associated risk in water resource assessments.
3 - Interim report on sources of uncertainty
4 - Report on stakeholder inputs and workshop
A workshop was held in November 2008 with participation from research groups, consultant hydrologists and DWAF. Dr Thorsten Wagener presented approaches used internationally and advised the participants on possible approaches for South Africa (download and ). Prof Hughes presented some preliminary results of uncertainty analysis using the Pitman model that were presented at the 2008 British Hydrological Symposium.
5 - Initial report on hydrological model uncertainty quantification
6 - Initial report on systems model uncertainties
7 - Second report on hydrological model uncertainties
8 - Report on integrating hydrological model and systems yield model uncertainties
9 - A report on techniques and tools for quantification of uncertainty and risk in water resource assessment
10 - A report on communication strategies required to relay uncertainty information to stakeholders
11 - Reducing uncertainty
12 - Final report and integration of all results (Target date: 28 February 2011)

IMPLEMENTING UNCERTAINTY ANALYSIS IN WATER RESOURCES ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING

A Water Research Commission Project (K5/2056).

This project represents a follow on from the previous WRC project (K5/1838) that initiated research on hydrological modelling uncertainty within South Africa. The focus of the new project is on surface - groundwater interaction processes and how they are represented in hydrological models, reducing uncertainty and developing methods of implementing uncertainty analyses within the framework of existing practical water resources assessment methods used within South Africa.

Project Team

Project leader: Prof. Denis Hughes, IWR, Rhodes University
Researchers: To be appointed.
Post-graduate students: Ms Jane Tanner with contributions from several other Carnegie RISE (SSAWRN) students within the IWR.
International collaborators: Dr Thorsten Wagener, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Project Deliverables

Individuals and organizations interested in the progress of the project can access the project deliverables and other resources as they are completed and added to this web page.

1 - Design of surface - groundwater interaction studies
This deliverable is designed to identify many of the issues associated with understanding and modelling the interactions between surface water and groundwater resources and elaborate on the way in which the project will conduct the research considered necessary.
2 - Report on the use of stochastic rainfall analysis in hydrological models.
The previous project initiated some research on the use of stochastic rainfall in hydrological models compared to the more traditional use of stream flow stochastic components within water resources yield models. This deliverable examines some of these concepts in further detail as well as addressing some of the issues associated with random sampling within semi-distributed modelling schemes.
3 - First general report on uncertainty reduction
This report discusses the issues associated with the realistic quantification of uncertainty and how different components of uncertainty can be reduced. It also provides some updated material on the use of structured random sampling of parameters within uncertainty versions of hydrological models that are designed to generate ensemble outputs.
4 - First report on practical applications of uncertainty analysis
5 - Report on surface/groundwater interaction uncertainty reduction
6 - Final report on uncertainty reduction
7 - 2nd report on practical applications of uncertainty analysis

Last Modified :Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:16:06 SAST