Title: Developing Monitoring Tools for Managing Drought Risk and addressing the Riddle of Increased Drought Tendency amidst the Wetter Climate Change Projections for Sri Lanka and Maldives
Principal investigator: Dr. Lareef Zubair
Duration: October 2016-September 2017
- Drought Hazard Analysis and Monitoring
1 a. Data Management
• Acquired the meteorological data required for analysis in the Maldives and Sri Lanka until part of 2017. The drought incidence data was accessed in Sri Lanka. For Maldives, In the absence of an open-access digital reporting system, we relied on reports from official sources and news reports.
• Automatic web-scraping systems were set up for both countries to archive data comes online. These were implemented in Excel and iMacros by our IT team. This brought in data from the Departments of Irrigation, Meteorology and Electricity Board in Sri Lanka and NOAA.
• Meteorological data were provided by the Maldives Meteorological Service as needed.
• In-person data collection and digitization were also undertaken. Some data were purchased.
• Quality assessment of satellite rainfall estimates was undertaken (Nawarathna et al., 2016 and Rathnayake et al., 2016) 1 a. (Continued) Instrumentation for Drought Hazard Monitoring
• Soil moisture probes, a field transmitter and data loggers were handed over to the Maldives Meteorological Services. Thereafter our scientists calibrated this instrument and set it up in collaboration with the MMS.
• Automatic weather station (AWS) installed in the Small Island Research Centre in Maathoda, Maldives to go with the AWS installation at Akurana and Digana in Sri Lanka
• Automatic weather station provided to the Faculty of Science, Maldives National University. Data being made available online whenever the internet based system is working.
1 b. Drought Hazard Analysis
• Implemented protocols to map rainfall deficits and drought indices. Set up protocols to analyze time series of these in Maldives and Sri Lanka
• Drought Map Room is being set up and Drought Monitor are being developed (www.tropicalclimate.org/maldives/drought& www.tropicalclimate.org/sri_lanka/drought).
• Working on the quality assessment of the satellite rainfall data for both countries. 1 c. Drought Monitoring Tools - IRI Data Library
• We obtained two Linux servers for two offices. Linux based system became functional.
• The advanced database and analysis system for climate analysis that had been developed by the US partners institute – the IRI Data Library (http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu) – was set up as standalone facility at the FECT offices.
• This is the first time that this technology has been set up in Asia as we know it. In addition, we managed to set this up without staff from IRI visiting.
• The data library at FECT enabled us to develop our data sets, train junior scientists in its use and open our self to generate sustained drought monitoring and prediction systems for the long-term.
• We are creating a “map room” akin to what is available at the US partners home institution.
• Working towards setting up an online version of the Data Library. 1 c. (continued) Drought Monitoring Tools –Offline Systems
• We developed protocols in Matlab, Ingrid, Excel and R to assess various drought indices. (Bandara et al, 2016)
• Drought indices assessed included that from Palmer Drought Severity Index, Standardized Precipitation and Weighted Anomaly Standardized Precipitation.
• Comparisons were reported for theses indices and with relief payments. (Bandara et al, 2015, Lokuhetti et al. 2017)
• Working on developing online guidance system.
2. Assess Climate Change
• Climate variability at intra-seasonal and seasonal time scales were documented
Impact of the main seasonal mode of El Nino was detailed for Maldives (Zubair et al. 2017a) and Sri Lanka (Zubair et al., 2016a).
Impact of the main intra-seasonal mode of Madden Julian Oscillation has been assessed for Sri Lanka (Zubair et al., 2016b) and Maldives (Zubair et al., 2016c)
• Working on evaluating the decadal trends. Analysis in collaboration with US partner and attribution studies is going on (Zubair et al., 2017b).
• The quality of the GCM’s used for the IPCC CMIP5 program for the region has been analyzed. We find that the temperature variation has been represented satisfactorily in a historical hind cast mode - there is consistency among in the projections for the next decades. However, there are discrepancies for precipitation that point to the need to discount these widely used analyses. (Zubair et al., 2017c)
• The climate change projections for selected stations in the region have been obtained for an ensemble of 20 best performing GCMs (Zubair et al., 2017c). Further work is going on with the US partner.
3. Drought and Water Scarcity Projections.
A review of the water resource situation in Maldives was undertaken (Wickramagamage., 2017)
3. a Undertake data collection
• In Sri Lanka records on water scarcity were available but for Maldives we had to rely on secondary sources
• The soil moisture instruments installed in both countries shall be of long lasting benefit. This is the only functioning soil moisture instruments in Maldives.
3. b Characterize water scarcity
• Interviews were conducted in the Greater Male region with a survey questionnaire by two Masters level students who were supported through the project.
• Videos of water scarcity were undertaken with the Chief Technical Officer of the Maldives Water Supply and Sewerage Company – Eng. M. Rasheed – this video in condensed form is on the project site
• Expert opinion was solicited on the water scarcity in Fares-Maathoda and Vadhdhoo islands in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll near the equator – the former with population and fisheries demands for water a low water table of 2 feet and the latter with agricultural and population demands for water with a water table of up to 6 feet depth
3. c Assess vulnerability to drought
• A student from the Masters in Sustainable Develop programs and one of Research Assistants undertook work on surveys in 4 islands in Greater Male and one island that is used for industrial and disposal (Wijeratne et al. 2017). There reports are available via our project site (http://www.climate.lk/drought_climate/)
• A preliminary review with experts towards this end was also undertaken in a less urbanized setting (Fares Maathoda, Vadhdhoo in GaafuDhalu Atoll) with experts, community members, school officials (Nijamdeen et al 2017).
• Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Fares Maathoda is a success and the impact on water supply is mitigated. However, SWM is a serious problem in Akurana and Kundasale sub-districts in Kandy and Greater Male. Awareness material for students prepared. (flyers available on project site) 3. d Estimate trends and uncertainty in future water demand.
• An attempt was made for the Maldive Islands to develop a System Dynamics model for water budgeting (Rathnayake et al., 2016). We have obtained some assessments. Publishable results await further data collection.
• A simplified water budget was put together for the Greater Male area – but in this urban setting the infrastructure changes and water desalination are over-riding assessments we could come up with. Wijeratne et al. (2016) has provided such work for greater Male that we shall build on.
3.e Estimate trends and uncertainty in future water supply
• We are working to provide more accurate summaries based on the climate change impacts, migration and water use projections for Greater Male and Maathoda
Peer reviewed proceedings
Zubair, L., Yahiya, Z., Agalawatte, P. and Lokuhetti, R. (2016). The El Nino event of 2015/16 in Sri Lanka: Predictions, Preparedness, Communication and Impacts. In Climate Change Secretariat (Ed.), NEELAHARITHA-The Climate Change Magazine of Sri Lanka (pp.40-46). Sri Lanka: Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
Agalawatte, P., Zubair, L., Zahid, Viswanathan, J., Yahiya, Z. & Bell, M. (2016). “The Monthly Climate Advisory for Maldives – a resource for marine Scientists Maldives Marine Science Symposium on 27 October 2016, at the Maldives National University, Male’ Maldives.
Agalawatte, P., Zubair, L. and Yahiya, Z. (2016). State of the art climate change assessments for Sri Lanka from CMIP5. In Climate Change Secretariat (Ed.), Neelaharitha-The Climate Change Magazine of Sri Lanka. (pp.40-46). Sri Lanka: Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
Agalawatte, P., Yahiya, Z., Viswanathan, J., Zubair, L. and Bell, M. (2016). Providing climate services for water management in Sri Lanka. In Climate Change Secretariat (Ed.), Neelaharitha-The Climate Change Magazine of Sri Lanka (pp.40-46). Sri Lanka: Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
Nijamdeen, A., Zubair, L., Dharmadasa, M., Najimuddin, N., P. and Malge, C. (2017). Seasonal Impact of Climate on Tea Production in Sri Lanka. International Roundtable on the Impact of Extreme Natural Events: Science and Technology for mitigation IRENE 2017. (pp.25). Sri Lanka: South Eastern University.
Lokuhetti, R., Zubair, L., Visvanathan, J., M., Nijamdeen, A. (2017). Drought Monitoring for Sri Lanka: Spatial Extent and Temporal Evolution during the 2016-17 Drought. International Roundtable on the Impact of Extreme Natural Events: Science and Technology for mitigation IRENE 2017. (pp.25). Sri Lanka: South Eastern University.
Book References Zubair, L., and Wickramagamage, P. (2017) Proceedings of the Pinga Oya Symposium, University of Peradeniya and Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Pages(106)
Zubair, L. Shazla, M. Mizna, M. Proceedings of the Climate and Water security in Maldives workshop, Maldives National University, Maldives and Foundation for environment Climate and Technology, Kandy Sri Lanka.2017.
Other publication References
Majeeda Mohamed and Mizna Mohamed. State of the Environment 2016.Ministry of Environment and Energy.Maldives,2017.
Zahid. Second National Communication of Maldives to the United Nations framework convention on climate change: Ministry of Environment and Energy,2016. Chapters on Climate and Disasters.
Lokuhetti, R., Najimuddin, N., and Zubair (2016) ‘The Climate over Sri Lanka up to the Yala of 2016”. CT Technical Report 2016-07. Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana.
Manusha Lakmali, (2016) “Industrial Training Executive Summary”, Supervisor, Zubair, L. FECT Technical Report 2016-08. Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana.
Udara Rathnayake, Zubair, L., Wickramagamage, P. System Dynamic Model for Estimating Water Scarcity in Maldives, FECT Technical Report 2016-09, Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana, Sri Lanka, December 2016.
Wijerathne, K. and L. Zubair (2017). Survey of Water Use and Water Budgeting in Greater Malé Maldives (Villingili, Hulhumale & Hulhule). FECT Technical Report 2017-01 Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, (Pages 25)
Najimuddin, N, L. Zubair. (2017). Analysis of Historical Flooding Incidence in Akurana. FECT Technical Report 2017-02. Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana.
Wickramagamage, P. (2017): Water Resources of the Republic of Maldives. FECT Technical Report 201703, Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, (Pages 44)
Zubair, L., Lokuhetti, R. Visvanathan, J. Zahid, Michael, B. (2017). Climate Monitoring and Prediction for Maldives, FECT Technical Report 2017-04 Foundation for Environment Climate and Technology, Kandy Sri Lanka
Lokuhetti, R., Najimuddin, N., and Zubair, L. (2017). “The Climate over Sri Lanka up to the Maha of 2016/17”. FECT Technical Report 2017-05. Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana.
Lokuhetti, R., Najimuddin, N., C. Malge and Zubair, L. (2017). “The Climate over Sri Lanka up to the Yala of 2017-06. Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Digana.
Technical Research Presentations
1. Public lecture by L. Zubair on Weather and Climate and Natural Hazards in Sri Lanka: Implications for Disaster Risk Management at The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka.
2. Key Note Address to the Faculty of Science’s Annual Research Sessions by L. Zubair at South Eastern University elicited media coverage in a Tamil Newspaper.
3. Ashara Nijamdeen- Seasonal Impact of Climate on Tea Production in Sri Lanka. International Round table on the Impact of Extreme Natural Events: Science and Technology for mitigation IRENE 2017.
4. RuchiraLokuhetti- Drought Monitoring for Sri Lanka: Spatial Extent and Temporal Evolution during the 2016-17 Drought. International Round table on the Impact of Extreme Natural Events: Science and Technology for mitigation IRENE 2017.
5. P. Wickramagamage -Climate change and the proposed project. Dilmah conservation, Climate observatory Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology. Dilmah roundtable on Climate Change.