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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093277

Assessing Impacts of Climate Variability and Reforestation Activities on Water Resources in the Headwaters of the Segura River Basin (SE Spain)

Department of Civil Engineering, Catholic University of San Antonio, Campus de los Jerónimos s/n, 30107 Guadalupe, Murcia, Spain
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Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract

Climate change and the land-use and land-cover changes (LULC) resulting from anthropic activity are important factors in the degradation of an ecosystem and in the availability of a basin’s water resources. To know how these activities affect the quantity of the water resources of basins, such as the Segura River Basin, is of vital importance. In this work, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used for the study of the abovementioned impacts. The model was validated by obtaining a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.88 and a percent bias (PBIAS) of 17.23%, indicating that SWAT accurately replicated monthly streamflow. Next, land-use maps for the years of 1956 and 2007 were used to establish a series of scenarios that allowed us to evaluate the effects of these activities on both joint and individual water resources. A reforestation plan applied in the basin during the 1970s caused that the forest area had almost doubled, whereas the agricultural areas and shrubland had been reduced by one-third. These modifications, together with the effect of climate change, have led to a decrease of 26.3% in the quantity of generated water resources, not only due to climate change but also due to the increase in forest area. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; trend analysis; land-use change; climate variability; reforestation; Segura River Basin SWAT; trend analysis; land-use change; climate variability; reforestation; Segura River Basin
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Senent-Aparicio, J.; Liu, S.; Pérez-Sánchez, J.; López-Ballesteros, A.; Jimeno-Sáez, P. Assessing Impacts of Climate Variability and Reforestation Activities on Water Resources in the Headwaters of the Segura River Basin (SE Spain). Sustainability 2018, 10, 3277.

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