Accesible hydrological monitoring for better decision making and modelling: a regional initiative in the Andes

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Presentación, en inglés, de Bert De Bievre, Coordinador del Área de Cuencas Andinas de CONDESAN, en el American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas (http://moa.agu.org/2013/) dado el 14 de mayo, 2013.

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Accesible hydrological monitoring for better decision making and modelling: a regional initiative in the Andes

  1. 1. Accesible hydrological monitoring for betterdecision making and modelling: a regionalinitiative in the AndesBert De Bievre, Rolando Célleri, Patricio Crespo, Boris Ochoa,Wouter Buytaert, Conrado Tobón, Marcos Villacís, MauricioVillazon, Carlos Llerena, Mayanín Rodriguez, Paul ViñasAGU Meeting of the Americas, Cancún, May 14, 2013
  2. 2. History• Research component of Proyecto Páramo Andino• Quickly interest from several partners to extend beyondparamo to other Andean ecosystems• Integrated in Climate Change Monitoring Program of theAndean Community (SGCAN)• Validated in II World Paramo Congress, Loja, Ecuador, 2009• Workshop in Cuenca, Ecuador, to fine tune proposal, July 2010
  3. 3. Iniciativa Regional de Monitoreo Hidrológicode Ecosistemas Andinos – iMHEA
  4. 4. BIG knowledge gaps on Andean ecosystemshydrology• We don’t know many basic things on hydrological processesin Andean ecosystems, this is more evident when ClimateChange catches us being unprepared• Many “water conservation” practices have not beenevaluated for their hydrological benefit• Bad misunderstandings and mistakes because of lack of goodinformation, e.g. on (re)forestation• Efficiency of water conservation investment is low• Lack of information for modellers• More recently big efforts for glacier monitoring
  5. 5. Traditional hydrometeorological monitoring• National scale• Location in function of infrastructure presence (airports,hydropower, irrigation, …)• Therefore huge gap in high altitude areas• Processing of long time series, statistics, little attention forhydrological processes
  6. 6. What do we need then?• Local information• Monitoring of watersheds and ecosystems, effect of land useand vegetation cover• Main focus on highlands: the “water sources”• Information that allows to give some answers to burningquestions, and decision making on the short or mid term
  7. 7. Some burning questions that decision makers andwatershed managers have• Short term (a few years)– How does land use change affect water yield and waterregulation?– What kind of land use change?- Conversion of natural ecosystem to agricultural land- Livestock/overgrazing- Deforestation, Reforestation, Forestation, introduced vs native species• Long term (10+ years)– Climate change: changes in rainfall AND hydrological response to it.
  8. 8. Principles guiding this proposal• It is better to have simple hydrological monitoring at manysites than detailed monitoring on a few ones• This will take us to regional conclusions and not leave biggaps• Low complexity threshold, to make it accesible for manystakeholders• Guarantee quality through followup from a technicalcoordination• Not just identify the changes in hydrology, but provideinformation that improves management action efficiency• Develop simple indicators that qualify the quality of thehydrological service
  9. 9. Proposal• Minimum = Rainfall &Runoff• 3 well distributed raingauges and an automaticdischarge gauging stationper microcatchment• Paired catchment designwherever feasible,catchments differ in themost relevant land useregime
  10. 10. Propuesta de la Iniciativa MHEA
  11. 11. Paired catchmentsPropuesta de la Iniciativa MHEA
  12. 12. • Monitoring that can give us policy-relevant conclusions in ashort monitoring period010020030040050060009/09/20040:0010/09/20046:0011/09/200412:0012/09/200418:0014/09/20040:0015/09/20046:0016/09/200412:00TiempoCaudal(L/s)0246810121416Precipitación(mm)PrecipitaciónCuenca con pajonalCuenca con pinosBuytaert, Iñiguez, De Bièvre, 2007, The effects of afforestation and cultivation on water yield in theAndean paramo, Forest Ecology and Management 251(1-2): 22-30
  13. 13. Regional initiative• Implementation withlocal partners• Share results incommon formats• Organize interchangeof experience anddiscussion of results• Link research groups
  14. 14. Current partners• A dozen of local NGO’s, local governments, from Mérida(Venezuela), to Bolivia• Universidad de los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela• Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia• Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador• Universidad Agraria La Molina, Lima, Peru• Universidad Mayor San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia• Imperial College, London• Please tell us if you are interested to join!
  15. 15. Socios de la Iniciativa MHEA
  16. 16. Overgrazing in páramo ecosystemsin Piura?Overgrazing in puna ecosystem atthe foot of Cordillera Blanca inHuaraz?Does reforestation with pines asociatedwith infiltration ditches really helphydrology in puna in Tambobamba –Apurimac?How does potato cultivation atunprecedented altitudes impactwater regulation in puna inCochabamba, Bolivia?
  17. 17. Keys for success (so far …)• Being able to combine local stakeholders’ information needs(key for sustainability), with more regional Andeanknowledge gaps and advancement of science• Organizing technical backstopping to local partners,benefiting quality and information gaps• Monitoring new technologies/sensor market• Simple indicators – building discussion language amongparticipants with different backgrounds
  18. 18. mriMountainresearchinitiativeLondon, 26 March 2012updated Rigi Kulm, 25 April 2013
  19. 19. A Global Fair and WorkshoponLong-Term Observing Systems of Mountain Social-Ecological SystemsWhat: A multi-day event bringing together researchers, managers andfunders of mountain observatories, field stations, transects and observingnetworks that gather data on mountain social systems, on mountainecosystems (from climate to genetics), on mountain abiotic environments orall of the above to• describe their work• explain sensors and protocols (flagship stations, crowd-sourcing, etc.)• discuss data management, access and presentation• explore the questions and phenomena driving observations• visit exemplary transects and observatories• create new collaborations• formalize cooperative arrangements.When: Summer 2014 (between July and September)Where: Reno, Nevada, USA (and surrounding Sierra Nevada, Cascade andGreat Basin mountain ranges)

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