The problems of water quality and quantity have the potential to affect users of the resource at the watershed scale. Watershed management is considered as an effective approach that brings together all water users around the core related issues in order to develop planned and concerted actions in a consensual manner to serve the general interest. In the central region of northern Algeria, there has been a severe and persistent drought in recent years due to a recurring problem, in time and space, of the availability of this resource. The spatial and temporal variability study remains one of the first tools of water resources manager. At the first stage, the study of spatial variability of the average monthly precipitation in central-northern Algeria, by a synthetic visualization of similarities between the response profiles of the seventy measuring stations, highlighted two rainfall gradients: a strong gradient between the northeastern and the southwestern regions of the study area, and a small gradient between regions of low and high altitudes. The link between the variables revealed three synthetic indicators; a big wet season where almost all precipitations are recorded, a short spring and a dry summer. At the second stage of this study, a temporal analysis of annual rainfall series recorded from 11 rain-gauging stations, through trends, ruptures and the standardized precipitation index showed a trend towards precipitation decrease over the whole study area with an average of 20% over the observation period 1910-2010. The analysis of the standardized rainfall index shows that the drought that rages on this region of Algeria is a consequence of the rate of years with mildly dry which is 44% and that of severe dry represent 9%. The persistence and severity of the drought in recent years in the study area is reflected in the increase in the rates of years with mildly dry in the order of 13%, on one hand, and by decreasing year rates of the mildly wet of 12%, 4.5% for the moderate wet, 3% for the very wet and 5% for the extremely wet, on the other hand.  


Spatiotemporal variability, precipitation, response profiles, variables links, dry, Algeria.

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