Next Article in Journal
Priorities and Interactions of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with Focus on Wetlands
Next Article in Special Issue
Impact Assessment of Future Climate Change on Streamflows Upstream of Khanpur Dam, Pakistan using Soil and Water Assessment Tool
Previous Article in Journal
Uncertainty in Irrigation Technology: Insights from a CGE Approach
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Impact of Climate Change on Hydroecological Response in Chalk Streams
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Assessing Climate Change Impacts on River Flows in the Tonle Sap Lake Basin, Cambodia

Faculty of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering, Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Phnom Penh 12156, Cambodia
Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Collegium—Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Lyon, 69007 Lyon, France
Stockholm Environment Institute, Asia Center, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 618;
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
PDF [9673 KB, uploaded 25 March 2019]


The Tonle Sap is the most fertile and diverse freshwater ecosystem in Southeast Asia, receiving nurturing water flows from the Mekong and its immediate basin. In addition to rapid development in the Tonle Sap basin, climate change may threaten natural flow patterns that sustain its diversity. The impacts of climate change on river flows in 11 sub-basins contributing to the Tonle Sap Lake were assessed using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to quantify the potential magnitude of future hydrological alterations. Projected river flows from three General Circulation Models (GFDL-CM3, GISS-E2-R-CC and IPSL-CM5A-MR) for three time horizons (2030s, 2060s and 2090s) indicate a likely decrease in both the wet and dry season flows. The mean annual projected flow reductions range from 9 to 29%, 10 to 35% and 7 to 41% for the 2030s, 2060s and 2090s projections, respectively. Moreover, a decrease in extreme river flows (Q5 and Q95) was also found, which implies there could be a decline in flood magnitudes and an increase in drought occurrences throughout the basin. The results of this study provide insight for water resources planning and adaptation strategies for the river ecosystems during the dry season, when water flows are projected to decrease. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; river flow; Tonle Sap; SWAT model; Lower Mekong climate change; river flow; Tonle Sap; SWAT model; Lower Mekong

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Oeurng, C.; Cochrane, T.A.; Chung, S.; Kondolf, M.G.; Piman, T.; Arias, M.E. Assessing Climate Change Impacts on River Flows in the Tonle Sap Lake Basin, Cambodia. Water 2019, 11, 618.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top