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Hydrology 2017, 4(4), 47; doi:10.3390/hydrology4040047

Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on River Discharge Dynamics in Oueme River Basin (Benin, West Africa)

Laboratory of Applied Hydrology, University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Cotonou 01 BP 4521, Benin
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climatic Change Impact on Hydrology)
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Abstract

Understanding the impacts of climate change on water resources is of utmost importance to successful water management and further adaptations strategies. The objective of this paper is to assess the impacts of climate change on river discharge dynamics in Oueme River basin in Benin. To this end, this paper used the distribution based scaling approach to improve usability of regional climate model projections for hydrological climate change impacts studies. Hydrological simulations in Bétérou and Bonou sub-catchments of the Oueme River were carried out with a lumped conceptual hydrological model. The main contribution of this paper is to use the hydrological model based on the least action principle (HyMoLAP), which is designed to minimize uncertainties related to the rainfall-runoff process and scaling law, for this assessment. The bias correction approach allows reducing the differences between the observed rainfall and the regional climate model (HIRHAM5 and RCA4) rainfall data. Corrected and raw HIRHAM5 and RCA4 rainfall data were compared with the observed rainfall using Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Root Mean Square error (RMSE). The results of the bias correction show a decrease in the RMSE and MAE of the raw HIRHAM5 and RCA4 rainfall data of approximately 91% to 98% in both catchments. The results of the simulation indicate that the HyMoLAP is suitable for modelling river discharge in the Oueme River basin. For the future projection based on RCP4.5 scenarios, the projected mean annual river discharge by using HIRHAM5 and RCA4 in Bétérou and Bonou decrease with the magnitude ranging respectively from −25% to −39% and −20% to −37% in the three time horizons 2020s (2011–2040), 2050s (2041–2070) and 2080s (2071–2100), representing the early, middle and late of 21st century. As regards the future projection based on RCP8.5 scenarios, the projected mean annual river discharge by using HIRHAM5 and RCA4 in Bétérou and Bonou decrease with the magnitude ranging respectively from −15% to −34% and −18% to −36% in the three time horizons. The model uncertainties projections indicated that the entire discharge distribution shifted toward more extreme events (such as drought) compared to the baseline period. View Full-Text
Keywords: river discharge dynamics; climate change; distribution based scaling; future projection; hydrological modelling; Benin river discharge dynamics; climate change; distribution based scaling; future projection; hydrological modelling; Benin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Biao, E.I. Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on River Discharge Dynamics in Oueme River Basin (Benin, West Africa). Hydrology 2017, 4, 47.

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