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Water in Drylands

Durchführung: Professur für Hydrologie



This course explains the specific hydrological characteristics of dry regions and exemplifies water management using case studies with real data.

In a first theoretical part, the components of the water balance are explained. Dry areas are defined by climatological indices, precipitation and evaporation are characterized. A first exercise determines the aridity of specific locations using real data. A second exercise determines potential evaporation using different approximation methods. Results are evaluated depending on the available data. Then runoff generation is explained in detail and common estimation methods for runoff generation are presented, practiced using real data and finally evaluated. This is followed by the determination of direct and indirect groundwater recharge. For the former, the chloride method is used, for the latter, transmission losses in a wadi system are estimated on the basis of gauged runoff data. Transmission losses are also estimated with the help of empirical estimation methods. Finally, water balances of aquifer systems are presented and exemplified by case studies of stressed (transboundary) systems.

In the second management part, traditional (historical) irrigation concepts (runoff farming) are compared with new irrigation techniques including sustainability aspects, application areas and possible salinization hazards. Roof water harvesting potentials and possible usages are outlined using estimation models and water quality data. Another aspect is the estimation of flood peaks in dry rivers. For this purpose, envelope curves and paleoflood data are explained and applied.


  • Lectures
  • Praktical exercises