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Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty

Dr. Yonas K. Demissie

Yonas K. Demissie

Associate Professor




(509) 372-7344


(509) 332-7100

Hydroclimatology research group website


  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, 2008, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA
  • M.S., Water Engineering, 2001, KU Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • B.S., Agricultural Engineering, 1998, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, 2018 – Present
  • Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, 2012 – 2018
  • Guest Faculty and STA Hydrogeologist, Argonne National Laboratory, 2012 – Present,
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Argonne National Laboratory, 2009 – 2012
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008
  • Research Assistant, Illinois State Water Survey, 2008
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003 – 2008
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Hydrology and Water Resource Engineering, KU Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, 1999 – 2001
  • Assistant Lecturer, Agricultural Engineering, Hawassa University, Ethiopia, 1998 – 1999


  • First Place Award for Young Scientist at the Sixth International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, American Academy of Sciences, 2012
  • SURGE Fellowship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003 – 2008
  • VLIR Scholarship, Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation, Belgium, 1999 – 2001
  • Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Graduate of the Year, Haramaya University, Ethiopia, 1998

Research Interests

  • Stochastic hydrology
  • Hydroclimatology
  • Inverse modeling
  • Hydroinformatics
  • Hydrological and water quality modeling
  • System optimization


  • Water resources engineering
  • Open Channel Flow
  • Environmental Hydrology
  • Stochastic Hydrology


  • Moges, E., Y. Demissie, H-Y. Li, 2020. Uncertainty Propagation in Coupled Hydrological Models using Winding Stairs and Null-Space Monte Carlo Methods, Journal of Hydrology,
  • GebreEgziabher, M and Y. Demissie, 2020. Modeling Urban Flood Inundation and Recession Impacted by Manholes, Water, 12(4), 1160;
  • Yigzaw, W., H-Y. Li, Y. Demissie, M.I. Hejazi, L.R. Leung, and N. Voisin, 2019. A Multi-layer Reservoir Thermal Stratification Module for Earth System Models, Journal of Advances in Modeling
  • Earth Systems, DOI:
  • Yigzaw, W., H-Y. Li, Y. Demissie, M.I. Hejazi, L.R. Leung, N. Voisin, and R. Payn, 2018. A New Global Reservoir Geometry Dataset for Representing Reservoirs in Land Surface and Earth System Models, Water Resources Research,
  • Wan, W., J. Zhao, H-Y, Li, A. Mishra, M. Hejazi, H. Lu, Y. Demissie, and H. Wang, 2018. A Holistic View of Climate Change and Water Management Impacts on Future Droughts: A Global Multi-Model Analysis, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, DOI: 10.1029/2017JD027825.
  • Mortuza, R., E. Moges, Y. Demissie, and H. Li, 2018. Historical and Future Drought Risk in Bangladesh using Bivariate Regional Frequency Analysis, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, DOI:
  • Moges, E., A. Jared, Y. Demissie, E. Yan, R. Mortuza, and V. Mahat. 2018. Bayesian Augmented L-Moment Approach for Regional Frequency Analysis, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, DOI: 10.1061/9780784481417.016
  • Demissie, Y., E. Yan, M. Wu. 2017. Hydrologic and water quality impacts of biofuel feedstock production in the Ohio River Basin, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12466.
  • Ye, S., H. Li, L.R. Leung, J. Guo, Q. Ran, Y. Demissie, and M. Sivapalan, 2017. Understanding flood seasonality and its temporal shifts within the contiguous United States, Journal of Hydrometeorology. DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-16-0207.1.
  • Wang, W., H. Li, L.R. Leung, Y. Demissie, and G. Blöschl, 2017. Nonlinear filtering effects of reservoirs on the flood frequency curves at the regional scale, Water Resources Research. DOI: 10.1002/2017WR020871.
  • Wan, W., H. Li, J. Zhao, A. Mishra, L.R. Leung, M. Hejazi, W. Wang, H. Lu, Z. Deng , Y. Demissie, H. Wang, 2017. Hydrological Drought in the Anthropocene: Impacts of Local Water Extraction and Reservoir Regulation in the US, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. DOI: 10.1002/2017JD026899
  • Moges, E., Y. Demissie, H. Li, 2016, Hierarchical mixture of experts and diagnostic modeling approach to reduce hydrologic model structural uncertainty, Water Resources Research, DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018266.
  • Gebremichael, M., M. Bitew, V. Nourani, G. Senay, Y. Demissie, 2016. Impact of hydrologic model on satellite-rainfall based streamflow simulations of a large topographically-complex watershed, Water Resources Research (in press).
  • Li S., L. Xiong, H. Li, L.R. Leung, Y. Demissie, 2015. Attributing runoff changes to climate variability and human activities: Uncertainty analysis using four monthly water balance models, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, DOI: 10.1007/s00477-015-1083-8
  • Ye S., H. Li, S. Li, L.R. Leung, Y.Demissie, Q. Ran, G. Blöschl, 2015. Vegetation regulates streamflow intra-annual variability by adapting to climate variations, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1002/2015GL066396.
  • Senay, G.B., S. Bohms, N.M. Velpuri, Y. Demissie, M. Gebremichael, 2014. Understanding the hydrologic sources and sinks in the Nile Basin: Using multi-source climate and remote sensing datasets, Water Resources Research, DOI: 10.1002/2013WR015231.
  • Demissie, Y., A. Valocchi, X. Cai, N. Brozovic, M. Gebremichael, G. Senay, 2014. Parameter estimation of groundwater models under uncertain irrigation data, Groundwater, DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12235.
  • Yan, E., Y. Demissie, M. Wigmasta, V. Tidwell, C. King, 2013. Potential drought impacts on electricity generation in Texas, ASME Proceedings, DOI:10.1115/POWER2013-98318.
  • Demissie, Y., E. Yan, and M. Wu, 2012. Assessing Regional Hydrology and Water Quality Implications of Large-Scale Biofuel Feedstock Production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, Environmental Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/es300769k.
  • Wu, M., Y. Demissie, and E. Yan, 2012. Simulate impacts of future biofuel production on water quality and water cycle dynamics in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, Biomass and Bioenergy, DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.01.030.
  • Demissie, Y., E. Yan, and M. Wu, 2012. Effects of biofuel productions in the Ohio River basin’s water resources and quality. In: Environmental Science and Technology, G. Sorial and J. Hong, Eds. American Science Press, Houston, USA, 2012, Vol. 2, p. 577-582. ISBN: 9780976885344.
  • Wu, M., Y. Chiu, and Y. Demissie, 2012. Quantifying the regional water footprint of biofuel using multiple analytical tools, Water Resources Research, DOI:10.1029/2011WR011809.
  • Demissie, Y., A. Valocchi, B. Minsker, and B. Bailey, 2009. Integrating a calibrated groundwater flow model with error-correcting data-driven models to improve predictions, Journal of hydrology, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.11.007
  • Demissie, Y., A. Valocchi, B. Minsker, and B. Bailey, 2008. Bias-corrected groundwater model prediction uncertainty analysis. In: J. Refsgaard (Editor), Calibration and Reliability in Groundwater Modeling: Credibility in Modeling, IAHS Publ. 320. ISBN: 9781901502497