Assessment of rainfall variability and its relationship to ENSO in a sub-Andean watershed in central Bolivia

Andres Gonzales Amaya, Mauricio F. Villazon, Patrick Willems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


Climate change and variability are likely to increase in most parts of the world, leading to more extreme events, which may increase the stress on already threatened water resources. This study focuses on the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation in the rainfall of Pucara basin and in the groundwater levels of the Punata alluvial fan in the Bolivian sub-Andes. Climate change and variability were assessed using the Quantile Perturbation Method, by detecting anomalous temporal changes in extreme quantiles of annual precipitation in the Pucara watershed and the correlation with groundwater levels in the Punata fan. The results show oscillatory behavior over periods of 28 to 33 years for the occurrence of wet and dry extremes at all studied meteorological stations. This suggests a similar oscillatory behavior of the groundwater levels; however, longer groundwater level observations are needed in order to confirm the link between precipitation variability and groundwater fluctuations. Local actors such as water managers, farmers and decision makers must take into consideration this climate variability in order to plan for these multi-decadal variations in response to the changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number701
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 29

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


  • Bolivia
  • Climate variability
  • El Niño
  • Groundwater
  • Southern Oscillation Index


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