Applications of the PyTOPKAPI model to ungauged catchments
Many catchments in developing countries are poorly gauged/totally ungauged which hinders water resource management and flood prediction in these countries. This study explored the application of the PyTOPKAPI model to South African (Mhlanga) and Ethiopian (Gilgel Ghibe) case study catchments to test its suitability for simulating stream flows from ungauged catchments. The aim is to extend the model application to poorly gauged/totally ungauged catchments in developing countries. The model uses digital elevation data and other spatial data sources to set up the model parameters and the forcing files. To generate reliable stream flows, models generally need to be calibrated, which typically relies on the availability of reliable stream flow data. We show how application of simple lumped models for average runoff ratios, such as that proposed by Schreiber in 1904, can be used as an alternative to detailed calibration with gauged flows. This approach seems to be new; and we show how the proposed method, together with the PyTOPKAPI model, can be used to predict runoff responses in ungauged catchments for water resource applications and flood forecasting in developing countries.
Keywords: PyTOPKAPI, Schreiber formula, streamflow, runoff ratio, South Africa, Ethiopia