Towards operational hydrological forecasting in Botswana

This programme aimed to improve the capability of the Botswana Department of Water Affairs (DWA) to provide hydrological forecasting and water-related warnings for the territory of Botswana. This was achieved through capacity building at the Department of Water Affairs and enhanced collaboration with the Botswana Department of Meteorological Services.

The objective of the project was to strengthen capacity at DWA in its role as the national service in Botswana for hydrological monitoring, forecasting and warnings, and provider of future hydrological outlook services to both public and private sectors. The main themes of the project focused on:

  1. DWA forecasting routines
  2. Data and IT
  3. Hydrological forecasting

A need for hydrological forecasting and better cooperation between the two departments were identified.  The contracting PDC partners were the Department of Water Affairs (DWA), Department of Meteorological Services (DMS) and SMHI, with its experience within both meteorology and hydrology could act as a catalyst and mentor organization.

New methods and management approaches were intorduced through training in Botswana and study visits to Sweden. Several standard operating procedures and checklists were introduced for better definition on standard Operating Procedures. On-the-job training were intensified during the course of the project with focus on hydrological modelling and forecasting routines. DWA personnel explored several hydrological models and have also evaluated them to get the best for their conditions. A data link between DMS and DWA has been set up to transfer input data to the hydrological models.

All capacity building has been provided through a combination of on-the-job training, tailored training courses and other capacity building approaches to achieve the results. This project has also led to better cooperation between DWA DMS, National Disaster Management Office and University of Botswana.