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Impact of Climate Variability on Blue and Green Water Flows in the Erhai Lake Basin of Southwest China

Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute (CRSRI), Changjiang Water Resources Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources of China, Wuhan 430010, China
College of Resources and Environmental Science, China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing 100094, China
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam 999077, Hong Kong, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 424;
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
PDF [14829 KB, uploaded 27 February 2019]


The Erhai Lake Basin is a crucial water resource of the Dali prefecture. This research used the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) and the China Meteorological Assimilation Driving Datasets for the SWAT model (CMADS) to estimate blue and green water flows. Then the spatial and temporal change of blue and green water flows was investigated. With the hypothetical climate change scenarios, the sensitivity of blue and green water flows to precipitation and temperature has also been analyzed. The results showed that: (1) The CMADS reanalysis dataset can capture the observed probability density functions for daily precipitation and temperature. Furthermore, the CMADS performed well in monthly variables simulation with relative bias and absolute bias less than 7% and 0.5 °C for precipitation and temperature, respectively; (2) blue water flow has increased while green water flow has decreased during 2009 to 2016. The spatial distribution of blue water flow was uneven in the Erhai Lake Basin with the blue water flow increased from low altitudes to mountain areas. While the spatial distribution of green water flow was more homogeneous; (3) a 10% increase in precipitation can bring a 20.8% increase in blue water flow with only a 2.5% increase in green water flow at basin scale. When temperature increases by a 1.0 °C, the blue water flow and green water flow changes by −3% and 1.7%, respectively. Blue and green water flows were more sensitive to precipitation in low altitude regions. In contrast, the water flows were more sensitive to temperature in the mountainous area. View Full-Text
Keywords: blue and green water flows; climate variability; sensitivity analysis; Erhai Lake Basin blue and green water flows; climate variability; sensitivity analysis; Erhai Lake Basin

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Yuan, Z.; Xu, J.; Meng, X.; Wang, Y.; Yan, B.; Hong, X. Impact of Climate Variability on Blue and Green Water Flows in the Erhai Lake Basin of Southwest China. Water 2019, 11, 424.

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