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Water 2018, 10(5), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050571

Quantitative Evaluation of the Impact of Climate Change and Human Activity on Runoff Change in the Dongjiang River Basin, China

1
School of Civil Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
2
School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
3
Center for Water Resource and Environment, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
4
Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality: A Component of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus)
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Abstract

Climate change and human activity are typically regarded as the two most important factors affecting runoff. Quantitative evaluation of the impact of climate change and human activity on runoff is important for the protection, planning, and management of water resources. This study assesses the contributions of climate change and human activity to runoff change in the Dongjiang River basin from 1960 to 2005 by using linear regression, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrologic model, and the climate elasticity method. Results indicate that the annual temperature in the basin significantly increased, whereas the pan evaporation in the basin significantly decreased (95%). The natural period ranged from 1960 to 1990, and the affected period ranged from 1991 to 2005. The percentage of urban area during the natural period, which was 1.94, increased to 4.79 during the affected period. SWAT modeling of the Dongjiang River basin exhibited a reasonable and reliable performance. The impacts induced by human activity on runoff change were as follows: 39% in the upstream area, 13% in the midstream area, 77% in the downstream area, and 42% in the entire basin. The impacts of human activity on runoff change were greater in the downstream area than in either upstream and midstream areas. However, the contribution of climate change (58%) is slightly larger than that of human activity (42%) in the whole basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: runoff change; hydrological simulation; climate change; land use change; Dongjiang River basin runoff change; hydrological simulation; climate change; land use change; Dongjiang River basin
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhou, Y.; Lai, C.; Wang, Z.; Chen, X.; Zeng, Z.; Chen, J.; Bai, X. Quantitative Evaluation of the Impact of Climate Change and Human Activity on Runoff Change in the Dongjiang River Basin, China. Water 2018, 10, 571.

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