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CSAES - Post Doctoral Position in Hydrometeorological Extremes

Morocco (MA)
Closing date
8 May 2024

Job Details

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is an institution dedicated to research and innovation in Africa and aims to position itself among world-renowned universities in its fields

The University is engaged in economic and human development and puts research and innovation at the forefront of African development. A mechanism that enables it to consolidate Morocco's frontline position in these fields, in a unique partnership-based approach and boosting skills training relevant for the future of Africa.

Located in the municipality of Benguerir, in the very heart of the Green City, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University aspires to leave its mark nationally, continentally, and globally.

One of the major obstacles to Morocco’s development is the management of water resources. The country faces very severe hydroclimatic conditions, characterised by low precipitation with high inter-annual variability. Additionally, water can be highly variable from week to week. The weather often shifts from extreme dry conditions to sudden heavy rainfall episodes. Further, water demand is constantly increasing due to agricultural intensification, urbanisation, population increase and the development of tourism. This increase is very difficult to sustain under present conditions. As a result, Morocco is consistently confronted to water shortages.

In order to mitigate the negative impact of these events, a National Water Strategy was developed. It aims at improving water use through the construction of substantial additional infrastructure, like dams and inter-basins water transfer projects. While such projects may enhance water capture and withdrawal capacities, to do so, they must be combined with management tools to optimise their use. Water management in Morocco is still based on reactive rather than preventive policies. The last few years, during which many extreme events occurred, have shown how vulnerable this type of governance was to climatic hazards. Despite the rain, several dams in the kingdom dried up due to poor management. Furthermore, the risk for water resources related to the occurrence of climate and weather hazards remains little understood and improperly evaluated.

We propose here to improve on the current water management by better understanding and quantifying the risks related to drought and extreme rainfall. We still understand little about the probability, magnitude and extent of these events in Morocco. By definition, extreme events are rare; observations are also lacking in most areas in Morocco, and usually cover periods too short to yield a complete picture of the tail of the hydroclimatic parameters distribution. Finally, as the global climate is changing, stationarity is not a valid assumption anymore, and it becomes crucial to consider possible changes in extreme events characteristics over time to develop and implement effective risk management strategies.

Research activities.

  • Improve our physical understanding of extreme hydrometeorological events (drought and extreme rainfall) in Morocco;
  • Quantify spatially the risk of droughts and extreme rainfall across Morocco in the present and future climates;
  • Assess the meteorological predictability of drought episodes and heavy rainfall at sub-seasonal time scales.
  • Develop comprehensive numerical algorithms for the prediction of extreme hydrometeorological events with their associated uncertainties.
  • Evaluate adaptive models for operational dam management based on predictive governance.
  • Develop an adaptive governance model for dam operations based on predictive actions.


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