This studentship, developed with an industrial partner (CH2M), will seek to contribute to sustainable water resource management in the Rift Valley Lake Basin (RVLB) in Ethiopia. This region accommodates 10 million people, many of whom are reliant on rain-fed agriculture. The population in the region is set to double by 2035. The RVLB is regarded as a significant water resource and one which could underpin significant regional development. However, this is a water-scarce basin. The lakes themselves are terminal systems which support fragile ecological communities. Lake levels have reduced significantly over the last 30-40 years due to increased abstraction and will be impacted by predicted climate changes. CH2M has developed a regional integrated resources development master plan, and this project builds on this to: [i] Evaluate and collate existing water balance modelling and water management data for lakes within the Ethiopian RVLB, [ii] Use a combination of Earth Observation (EO) and fieldwork to both monitor and model the impacts of: (a) land-use changes within the RVLB and, (b) land-use policy, through direct interaction with key stakeholders and policymakers, and  Use the output data, combined with climate changes predictions from the 5th Assessment of the IPCC and key policy options to predict future water resource availability and sustainability within the RVLB
Fully funded for a minimum of 3.5 years, studentships cover: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (at least £14,553 per annum for 2018-2019), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Studentship(s) are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award.
This PhD project is part of the NERC funded Doctoral Training Partnership “ACCE” (Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment https://acce.shef.ac.uk/). ACCE is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, York and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Selection process: Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the closing date, and successful applicants will be notified promptly. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview to take place at the University of Sheffield the w/c 12th February 2018.