Mr Eduardo Reynolds - Modeling water supplies

PhD student Eduardo Reynolds from Panama is a part of the Center for Natural Disaster Sciences (CNDS) research school at Uppsala University, studying the causes and effects of natural disasters on nature and society. 

Curiosity about water related issues and a tip from his sister-in-law got Eduardo Reynolds to apply for a fellowship in Sweden, where he will stay for another three years to finish his PhD studies in Hydrology before returning home.

Eduardo does research on the hydrological processes taking place in a lake basin located in Panama. This basin supplies water to the Panama Canal and is also used to generate electricity and to provide the country with drinking water. During the rainy season the rise in water level causes floods downstream of the lake while in contrast the water level is too low during the dry season, creating problems with supplying enough water to the Panama Canal. To gain better understanding of the hydrological processes, Eduardo is developing an approach for modelling the water balance components of the lake, which will be vital for an improved flood risk and water resource management. In the future this knowledge can be used in other parts of the country or in the region to solve water related issues.

- Flood occurrences and water demand are increasing in Central America and in the world. It is of great importance to gain better understanding of the hydrological processes to be able to minimize and solve these issues.

When Eduardo is finished with his PhD studies, he wants to be a part of a team of researchers in Panama to exchange ideas, discuss water related issues in the country and to propose possible solutions to them.

- Very little research related to hydrology has been done in Panama and in the Central American region. One of the main reasons is the limited quantity and quality of the available hydro-meteorological data, making it hard for researchers to come to conclusive statements to support good planning. For the past two years Panama has been experiencing energy deficits during the dry season because of the lack of water for electricity generation. If more monitoring data were available and hydrological studies had been made these scenarios could have been predicted and would have resulted in better planning and management of the water resources.

May 2014

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ISP coordinates this project on Natural Disaster Mitigation in Central America. In the framework of this activity eleven MSc and PhD students were accepted from six Central American countries to pursue their PhD studies in Sweden. Eduardo being one of them.