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Water 2015, 7(4), 1538-1567; doi:10.3390/w7041538

Combined Impacts of Medium Term Socio-Economic Changes and Climate Change on Water Resources in a Managed Mediterranean Catchment

Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, Post Box 601203, Potsdam 14412, Germany
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Academic Editors: Lutz Breuer and Philipp Kraft
Received: 2 February 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 27 March 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydro-Ecological Modeling)
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Abstract

Climate projections agree on a dryer and warmer future for the Mediterranean. Consequently, the region is likely to face serious problems regarding water availability and quality in the future. We investigated potential climate change impacts, alone (for three scenario periods) and in combination with four socio-economic scenarios (for the near future) on water resources in a Mediterranean catchment, whose economy relies on irrigated agriculture and tourism. For that, the Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM) was applied to the drainage area of the Mar Menor coastal lagoon, using a set of 15 climate scenarios and different land use maps and management settings. We assessed the long-term average seasonal and annual changes in generated runoff, groundwater recharge and actual evapotranspiration in the catchment, as well as on water inflow and nutrients input to the lagoon. The projected average annual changes in precipitation are small for the first scenario period, and so are the simulated impacts on all investigated components, on average. The negative trend of potential climate change impacts on water resources (i.e., decrease in all analyzed components) becomes pronounced in the second and third scenario periods. The applied socio-economic scenarios intensify, reduce or even reverse the climate-induced impacts, depending on the assumed land use and management changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mar Menor; socio-economic changes; land use change; management change; climate change impacts; eco-hydrological modelling; Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM) Mar Menor; socio-economic changes; land use change; management change; climate change impacts; eco-hydrological modelling; Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM)
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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Stefanova, A.; Hesse, C.; Krysanova, V. Combined Impacts of Medium Term Socio-Economic Changes and Climate Change on Water Resources in a Managed Mediterranean Catchment. Water 2015, 7, 1538-1567.

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