Assessment of Climatic Variability in Zahrez Basin (Algeria)
Fatah Bouteldjaoui1, Mohamed Bessenasse2, Ahmed Kettab3

1Fatah Bouteldjaoui, Ecole Nationale Polytechnique, Alger, Algérie.
2Mohamed Bessenasse, Université Saad Dahlab, Blida, Algérie.
3Ahmed Kettab, Ecole Nationale Polytechnique, Alger, Algérie

Manuscript received on 13 June 2016 | Revised Manuscript received on 20 June 2016 | Manuscript Published on 30 June 2016 | PP: 36-44 | Volume-5 Issue-5, June 2016 | Retrieval Number: E4593065516/16©BEIESP
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Abstract: The knowledge of the climatic behavior especially that one of semi-arid regions is required to optimize the management of water resources. Numerous studies have been carried out to analyze the precipitation variability throughout the world in general and more especially in Mediterranean basin and in African region [1]. The water resources which are available in Algeria are limited[2-3]. They are also subjected to cyclical extremes variations i.e. succession of cycles of severe drought. The drought observed during these last years in Algeria has also affected those located more to the south, characterized by semi-arid to arid climate. The decrease in rainfall and consequently that in runoff might penalize development projects linked with water supply. The Zahrez basin (Fig.1) is one of the endorheic basins of the vast steppes region in the central northern part of Algeria. The Zahrez hydrological basin covers approximately 8,989 km2 . The catchment lies between longitudes 2° 15’ to 4° 08’E and latitudes 34° 35’ to 35° 30’N. The area is characterized by a semi-arid climate, typically Mediterranean, with an irregular annual rainfall. The mean annual rainfall and potential evapotranspiration are 250 and 1380 mm, respectively, exceeding rainfall for most of the year [4]. The objective of this work is the identification and the consequences of climate variability, based on statistical analysis evolution of the annual rainfall series, over a period of 34 years (1973/1974 -2006/2007 ), a set of stations (09) covering the study area. This analysis consists of the study of the interannual evolution of Nicholson rainfall indices, and the implementation of statistical tests of homogeneity of the time series. These tests are Pettitt test, the Buishand test, the Hubert segmentation procedure and Bois control ellipse. The results of the interannual evolution of rainfall indices show that 67% of retained stations are characterized by the alternating of wet period (1974-1982) and dry (1983-2007). Moreover, the homogeneity statistical tests indicate a break in stationarity of the rainfall series in Charef, Benhafaf and Aïn Maabed stations.
Keywords: Climate Variability, Water Resources, Semi-arid, Statistic Tests, Zahrez Basin, Algeria

Scope of the Article: Water Supply and Drainage