Iran’s precipitation is approximately one third of global average and distribution of the monthly rainfall has been changed in recent years. Water scarcity has many environmental and socio-economical impacts over Iran. Unlike to the floods that have limited coverage areas, water scarcity impacts cover vast regions. By increasing global mean temperature, drought and population, water and its consumption has become important. This may even become more significant in those countries where the volume of rainfall is limited. Occurrence of drought is one of the main reasons of the water crisis. Implementation of a drought early warning system is the most important priority for I. R. of Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO). In parallel to the objectives of Global Framework of Climate Services (GFCS), the proposed project of National Center for Climatology (Mashad Climate Center) on the prediction of seasonal precipitation and temperature and drought early warning system over Iran has been approved by IRIMO’s National Committee of GFCS in November 2013.
The project Drought Early-warning System over Iran (DESIR) aims to building capacity for improved national climate services, drought risk reduction in agriculture and water resource sectors and produce knowledge-based information for policy makers to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. The project is the first pilot project of National GFCS Committee. It has hosted by National Center for Climatology (Climate Research Institute) and funded by I. R. of Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO), Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Center (ASMERC), National Drought Warning and Monitoring Center (NDWMC) and Khorasan Razavi Disaster Management Organization (KHDMO).
Main components of the project are:
• Producing high resolution gridded precipitation data over the country
• Validation of monthly to seasonal reforecast gridded data output from different global models.
• Investigation of the statistical relationship between observed gridded precipitation and other related gridded reforecast data such as precipitation, temperature, humidity and other related dynamical output.
• Implementation of monthly historical relationships into model forecast to produce weighted based precipitation and temperature forecast over the region.
• Issuing drought early warning maps over the country by computing drought standard indices mainly Standard Precipitation Index (SPI).
• Broadcast the results to stakeholders by holding NCOF, providing newsletter and announcing by media.
It is expected that after handover of the project, it can be implemented over the west Asian countries and also other countries located in ECO region under ECO-RCRM program.