Simple and Low-Cost Procedure for Monthly and Yearly Streamflow Forecasts during the Current Hydrological Year
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Integrated water resources managementSupport to decision-making processStreamflow forecastSimple and low-cost forecasting modelGuadalquivir River BasinGenil River
Delgado Ramos, F.; Hervás-Gámez, C. Simple and Low-Cost Procedure for Monthly and Yearly Streamflow Forecasts during the Current Hydrological Year. Water 2018, 10, 1038; doi:10.3390/w10081038.
SponsorshipThis research was funded by Fundación Centro Andaluz de Investigaciones del Agua (CETAQUA) and EMASAGRA S.A.
Accurately forecasting streamflow values is essential to achieve an efficient, integrated water resources management strategy and to provide consistent support to water decision-makers. We present a simple, low-cost, and robust approach for forecasting monthly and yearly streamflows during the current hydrological year, which is applicable to headwater catchments. The procedure innovatively combines the use of well-known regression analysis techniques, the two-parameter Gamma continuous cumulative probability distribution function and the Monte Carlo method. Several model performance statistics metrics (including the Coefficient of Determination R2; the Root-Mean-Square Error RMSE; the Mean Absolute Error MAE; the Index of Agreement IOA; the Mean Absolute Percent Error MAPE; the Coefficient of Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency NSE; and the Inclusion Coefficient IC) were used and the results showed good levels of accuracy (improving as the number of observed months increases). The model forecast outputs are the mean monthly and yearly streamflows along with the 10th and 90th percentiles. The methodology has been successfully applied to two headwater reservoirs within the Guadalquivir River Basin in southern Spain, achieving an accuracy of 92% and 80% in March 2017. These risk-based predictions are of great value, especially before the intensive irrigation campaign starts in the middle of the hydrological year, whenWater Authorities have to ensure that the right decision is made on how to best allocate the available water volume between the different water users and environmental needs.