One of the components of the resource centre is continuing the long-term data monitoring on hydro-sedimentology, climatology and land use/land productivity on the three observatories, namely Anjeni, Maybar and Andit Tid. These smaller research watersheds (observatories) were established between 1981 and 1984 as part of the Ethiopian Soil Conservation Research Programme (SCRP) with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Since 1981, data and knowledge on hydro-sedimentology and land management have been accumulated from these observatories.
Considering the gap on hydro-sedimentology and climate data related to larger watersheds and high altitude areas, the resource center recently established one Meso-scale observatory (Gerda Watershed close to Dembecha) and High-Altitude Observatory at Simen Mountain National Park. It is also in final stage of negotiation with Eastern African Partnership Programme (ESAPP) to rehabilitate and took over the technical management of the three SCRP observatories (Hundelafto and Dizi in Oromia Region and Gununo in SNNP Region) in collaboration with regional government institutes in Oromia and SNNP.
However, apart from the limited utilization of this massive data and knowledge (which is due to lack of appropriate institutions as well as lack of organized database system and dissemination mechanisms), the long-term observations in these observatories were found necessary under the current Global Change scenarios. These observatories have been institutionalized within Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) and WLRC took the mandate to rehabilitate the infrastructure, instrumentation and continue the research work in an enhanced way in collaboration with ARARI. To this effect the three observatories have been rehabilitated (including instrumentation) and all the new setups for the Meso-Scle Observatory at Dembecha and the High-Altitude Observatory at Simen were finalized and all are now fully operational and data collection work has been resumed. The resource centre also applies modelling and other techniques to extrapolate findings from plot and smaller watershed level to larger areas through specialized studies. Building on these experiences, it is intended to ultimately expand the activities of the resource centre to serve as a regional knowledge hub facilitating national and transboundary decision support for sustainable, equitable, and rational use of water and land resources in the country and Eastern African sub-region.