WP 2.4 Water Resources

Water Resources under Climate and Land Use Change

Water is one of the key resources for agricultural production and daily life. Water availability - influenced by climate and land use - is therefore of outstanding importance. Any environmental analysis requires information on the dynamic of water fluxes and water storages at different scales which are usually computed by simulation models. Those models must be based on a thorough understanding of processes to be able to be used for scenario quantification.

It is important not only to analyze simple input-output relationships but to consider the complex feedbacks within the plant-soil-atmosphere-hydrosphere system. Only by studying those feedbacks one is able to forecast which impact land use and climate change have on water storage, water fluxes, and water related ecosystem services. Knowledge concerning the processes and feedbacks are translated into dynamic simulation models. Nowadays, these models should consider not only vertical but also lateral processes and landscape patterns. Therefore, it is planned to adapt and apply a 3d eco-hydrological model which includes the feedbacks explained before. As any environmental modeling is faced with a number of uncertainties, they have to be quantified to be able to differentiate between signal and noise in measured data and simulation results especially if used for scenario quantification.

The work is based on the hypothesis that adapted hydrological modeling and quantification of related uncertainties are indispensable for decision making at different spatial and temporal scales. The analysis of the effects of changing landscape patterns on water related environmental services as well as on water and energy fluxes gives hints to adaptation strategies to cope with climate change effects. A comprehensive analysis of uncertainties in the chain from field data to validated model output and from climate and land use scenarios to hydrological impacts will improve decision making.

The work will be carried out in the WASCAL focal watersheds and will cover investigations from the local (point) scale up to the watershed scale. The selected watersheds will be instrumented in a way that differences between intensity of use can be determined. Local scale measurements will complete process understanding and help parameterizing the simulation models. The focus is on the effect of landscape patterns on water storage, water fluxes and related ecosystem services. The focus on small scale patterns in soils, land cover and land use etc. is innovative and challenging as most studies concentrate on larger units and consider lateral interaction in a simplified way. The results are fundamental for other WPs dealing with e.g. agriculture, SOC dynamic, and soil degradation as well as for developing adaptation strategies to cope with water scarcity.

Using the calibrated and validated eco-hydrological models, scenarios will be quantified to study possible future impact of land use and climate change on water storages and water fluxes. The results will be aggregated to a number of indicators which can be used in an integrated assessment.

This Work Package is closely interacting with other Work Packages analyzing processes in the focal areas but also with the WASCAL Competence Centre. Experimental setup, installation, analysis concept as well as model selection will be done in close cooperation with the Competence Centre to guarantee future use of instrumentation, techniques, and methods. The Work Package therefore contributes to the Capacity Building in the Competence Centre but also integrates the Graduate Studies Programme, especially the Doctoral Programme Climate Change and Water Resources, into research activities.

Related Publications

Analyzing the effects of different soil databases on modeling of hydrological processes and sediment yield in Benin (West Africa)

2012 - Bossa, Aymar Yaovi | Bernd Diekkrüger, Attanda Mouinou Igué and Thomas Gaiser

Hydro-climatic changes in the Niger basin and consistency of local perceptions

2014 - Oyerinde, Ganiyu Titilope | Fabien C. C. Hountondji, Dominik Wisser, Bernd Diekkrüger, Agnide E. Lawin, Ayo J. Odofin, and Abel Afouda

Soil survey and soil classification of the Koupendri Catchment in Benin, West Africa

2015 - Azuka, V.C. | Igué, A.M, Diekkrüger, B. & C.A. Igwe

Investigation on the 1970s and 1980s droughts in four tributaries of the Niger River Basin (West Africa)

2015 - Badou, D.F. | Afouda, A., Diekkrüger, B. & E. Kapangaziwiri

Modelling extreme streamflows under non-stationary conditions in the Ouémé river basin, Benin, West Africa

Hydrological Sciences and Water Security: Past, Present and Future. Proceedings of the 11th Kovacs Colloquium, Paris, France, June 2014

2015 - Hounkpé, J. | Afouda, A., Diekkrüger, B., F. Hountondji

Non-stationary modelling of extreme discharges in the Ouémé River Basin, Benin Republic

2015 - Hounkpè, J. | Diekkrüger, B., Badou, F.D., A.A. Afouda

Regional flood frequency analysis in the Volta River Basin, West Africa

2016 - Kossi, K. | Amisigo, B.A., Diekkrüger, B. & F.C.C. Hountondji

Evaluation of recent hydro-climatic changes in four tributaries of the Niger River basin (West Africa)

2016 - Badou, Djigbo Félicien | Evison Kapangaziwiri, Bernd Diekkrüger, Jean Hounkpè, and Abel Afouda


Prof. Dr. Bernd Diekkrüger
Professor Hydrologie /
University professor hydrology

Postal address:
Meckenheimer Allee 166 - D-53115 Bonn
Büro / Office:
Meckenheimer Allee 172 (3. Stock / 3rd Floor) - Raum / Room 3.009

Email: b.diekkrueger(at)uni-bonn.de
Phone: +49 (0)228 73-2107
Fax: +49 (0)228 73-5607

Team members

Dr. Aymar Yaovi Bossa


  • Junior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • Invest in Water
  • Cluster 2: Landscape Dynamics
  • 2.5 Soil Carbon, Fertility, Degradation
  • 2.4 Water Resources

Prof. Dr. Bernd Diekkrueger


  • Senior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.4 Water Resources
  • 2.5 Soil Carbon, Fertility, Degradation
  • 5.2 Economic Evaluation of Risk Management

Dr. Gero Steup


  • Senior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.4 Water Resources
  • 2.5 Soil Carbon, Fertility, Degradation
  • 5.2 Economic Evaluation of Risk Management

Yacouba Yira


  • Alumni

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.4 Water Resources