The ecology and economic activities of Lake Tana and its surrounding watershed in the Ethiopian highlands are being affected by increasing population pressure and intensification of agriculture. Adugnaw Tadesse Akale, a Fall 2015 Borlaug LEAP Fellow, is interested in studying the assessment of water quality and the development of remedial action in the agricultural watershed. By modeling and on-site measuring of sediment and sediment-related nutrient concentrations from surface water as well as groundwater data, he hopes to identify the causes and the consequences of deterioration of water quality in the watershed. His goal is help design management options that can reduce the negative consequences of the degradation of the water quality in the headwaters of the Lake Tana Basin.
Adugnaw has Bachelor’s degree in Irrigation Engineering and Master’s degree in Hydrology Engineering. He gained practical experience in water resource management while working with CARE Ethiopia, an international non-governmental organization, as an Infrastructure Development team leader. He worked to improve the livelihood of chronically food-insecure rural women through access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and different food security programs.
Adugnaw is enrolled in the PhD program in Integrated Water Management at Bahir Dar University and is working as a Water Resources Manager at CARE Ethiopia. During his fellowship, he was mentored by Dr. Tammo Steenhuis, a respected professor at Cornell University and Dr. Wolde Mekuria, currently serving as a researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Upon completing his PhD, Adugnaw hopes to join an academic institution or an organization that focuses on doing applied research with practical implications for improved food security in Ethiopia.