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Projected Changes in Hydrological Variables in the Agricultural Region of Alberta, Canada

Watershed Science and Modelling Laboratory, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
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Water 2018, 10(12), 1810; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121810
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 9 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
The responses of regional hydrological variables to climate change are of prime concern for agricultural water resources planning and management. Therefore, the seasonal (April–September) and annual (January–December) evolution of precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration (ET), soil moisture (SM), deep aquifer recharge (DA), and water yield (WYLD) was investigated using established statistical techniques for the historical, near and far future (1983–2007: His, 2010–2034: NF, 2040–2064: FF) in the agricultural region of Alberta, Canada. Previously calibrated and validated agro-hydrological models (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) were used to generate these variables. Future changes were investigated under two representative concentration pathways, i.e., RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5, projected by nine global climate models (GCM). Results revealed that Alberta had become warmer and drier during the His period. The future projection showed an increase in precipitation, SM, DA, and WYLD, in turn, indicated more water resources. Precipitation and temperature were projected to increase between 1 to 7% and 1.21 to 2.32 °C, respectively. Seasonal precipitation showed a higher trend magnitude than that of annual precipitation. The temperature generally had an increasing trend in the future with a maximum in the southern Alberta. Monthly average ET was likely to increase and decrease in the rising and falling limbs of the bell-shaped curve with the peak in July. A comparison of water demand from two land use types (dominant land use and barley) during the His period showed that water deficit existed in July and August. The results of this study could help in understanding anticipated changes in hydrological variables and decision-making regarding the regional agricultural water resources management. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrologic modelling; SWAT; climate variability; trend detection; modified Mann–Kendall test; Sen’s slope estimator; climate change hydrologic modelling; SWAT; climate variability; trend detection; modified Mann–Kendall test; Sen’s slope estimator; climate change
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Masud, M.B.; Ferdous, J.; Faramarzi, M. Projected Changes in Hydrological Variables in the Agricultural Region of Alberta, Canada. Water 2018, 10, 1810.

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