Evaluating the downstream implications of planned water resource development in the Ethiopian portion of the Blue Nile River

Ethiopia's policy of large dam construction in the Blue Nile River basin is evaluated by simulating the impact of one downscaled midrange climate change scenario (A1B) on the performance of existing and planned irrigation and hydropower schemes. The simulation finds that by 2100: 1) average basin-wide irrigation demand will increase; 2) annual hydroelectricity generation will be just 60% of potential; and 3) flow at the Ethiopia-Sudan border will be reduced from 1661 m3/s to 1301 m3/s as a consequence of climate change in combination with upstream water resource development. Adaptation to climate change and development must be considered together.