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Collaborative management of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam increases economic benefits and resilienceAbstract: The landscape of water infrastructure in the Nile Basin is changing with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Although this dam could improve electricity supply in Ethiopia and its neighbors, there is a lack of consensus between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt on the dam operation. We introduce a new modeling framework that simulates the Nile River System and Egypt’s macroeconomy, with dynamic feedbacks between the river system and the macroeconomy. Because the two systems “coevolve” throughout multi-year simulations, we term this a “coevolutionary” modeling framework. The framework is used to demonstrate that a coordinated operating strategy could allow the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to help meet water demands in Egypt during periods of water scarcity and increase hydropower generation and storage in Ethiopia during high flows. Here we show the hydrological and macroeconomic performance of this coordinated strategy compared to a strategy that resembles a recent draft proposal for the operation of the dam discussed in Washington DC.
Global predictions of primary soil salinization under changing climate in the 21st centuryAbstract: Soil salinization has become one of the major environmental and socioeconomic issues globally and this is expected to be exacerbated further with projected climatic change. Determining how climate change influences the dynamics of naturally-occurring soil salinization has scarcely been addressed due to highly complex processes influencing salinization. This paper sets out to address this long-standing challenge by developing data-driven models capable of predicting primary (naturally-occurring) soil salinity and its variations in the world’s drylands up to the year 2100 under changing climate. Analysis of the future predictions made here identifies the dryland areas of South America, southern and western Australia, Mexico, southwest United States, and South Africa as the salinization hotspots. Conversely, we project a decrease in the soil salinity of the drylands in the northwest United States, the Horn of Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkmenistan, and west Kazakhstan in response to climate change over the same period.