Alteration of the Fogera Plain flood regime due to Ribb Dam construction, Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia

Chalachew A. Mulatu*, Alessandra Crosato, Eddy J. Langendoen, Michael M. Moges, Michael E. McClain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


The Fogera Plain, Ethiopia, is affected by recurrent flooding of the Ribb and Gumara Rivers. A large dam on the Ribb River is under construction for irrigation, but also to reduce flooding. We investigated the effects of the dam on the flood regime of the floodplain wetlands using a combination of hydrodynamic and a rainfall-runoff models. The model was calibrated based on inundation maps retrieved from Landsat images. Pre- and post-dam model comparison for 10 years shows that the dam will reduce the flooding extent by 11%, as it only regulates 23.8% of the upstream watershed. The flood extent and duration necessary to maintain ecologically significant water depths (≥ 0.5 m) show no notable changes. The developed hydrologic and hydrodynamic models can be used to analyze other dam operation and climate change scenarios even though there are uncertainties related to terrain resolution and analysis of hydrological data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-196
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Water Engineering and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Blue Nile Basin
  • Dam impact study
  • Fogera Plain
  • Gumara River
  • Ribb River
  • wetlands ecology


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