Drought Risk under Climate and Land Use Changes: Implication to Water Resource Availability at Catchment Scale
2. Study Area, Data and Methodology
2.1. Study Area
The DiCaSM Model and Model Efficiency Measures
2.4. Impact of Climate Change on Future Hydrological Variables
2.5. Identification of Drought Indices
3.1. Model Calibration/Validation for Streamflow
3.2. Identification of Historic Droughts
3.2.1. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
3.2.2. Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI)
3.2.3. Soil Moisture Deficit, SMD and Soil Wetness Index, WI as Drought Indicators
3.3. Future Hydrological Changes and the Drought Indices
3.3.1. Changes in Streamflow
3.3.2. Changes in Groundwater Recharge
3.3.3. Drought Indices
Future SMD, WI and Actual Evapotranspiration
Future Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI)
3.4. Impacts of Land Use Changes on the Hydrological Variables
- If the grass area replaced by barley: river flow would increase by 14% in autumn and by less than 7% in all other seasons. Groundwater recharge would also increase by 13% in winter and by less than 7% in all other seasons.
- If grass area replaced by oil seed rape: river flow would decrease of 21% in summer, 15% in spring and 6% in winter but a small increase of 3% in autumn is projected. A possible decrease in groundwater recharge by 21% in summer, 12% in spring, 5% in winter but possible small increase less than 4% in autumn are projected.
- If 50% winter barley replaced by oil seed rape: reduction in streamflow around 7% in winter, spring and autumn and a small reduction less than 2% in summer are projected. Also, a decrease in groundwater recharge by 13% in summer, by less than 7% in winter and spring and by 1% in autumn are projected.
- If 100% winter barley replaced by oil seed rape: A decrease in streamflow by around 14% in winter, spring and autumn but small decrease of less than 4% in summer are projected. Groundwater recharge is also expected to decrease between 9% to 23% during winter, spring, summer and by less than 2% in autumn.
- If 40% increase in urban area replacing grass: an increase in streamflow between 11% to 19% in winter, spring and summer and around 9% in autumn are projected. Ground water is likely to decrease between 2% to 8%
- If all crops replaced by broad leaved forest: A decrease in streamflow between 8% and 16% in winter, spring and summer and less than 5% in autumn are projected. The groundwater recharge is likely to decrease between 14% and 21% in spring and summer and by less than 1% in winter and 6% in autumn.
4.1. The Drought Indices
4.2. Climate Change Impact on Water Resources
4.3. Impact of Land Use Changes on Water Resources
- The DiCaSM model calibration and validation results showed a good agreement between the observed simulated flow and overall model efficiency; the NSE index was above 82% for the 51-year study period.
- In addition to the streamflow, the model identified all drought events using the drought indices: SPI, RDI, SMD and the WI, especially in the 1970s, but also during the 1980s, 1990s and most recently the drought in 2010–2012. The analysis revealed that the adjusted RDI index, based on net rainfall (excluding interception losses by vegetation cover) and actual evapotranspiration, was successful in identifying the past drought events and their severity levels. Under climate change projection, the streamflow and the groundwater recharge significantly decreased, especially during the summer, and the severity of the drought events significantly increased.
- All the applied drought indices (SMD, WI and RDI) identified an increase in the severity of the drought under future climatic scenarios. Under high emission scenarios, the drought severity was higher. These findings help in planning for perhaps extra water infrastructure work if needed, such as building more reservoirs or water transfer pipelines from water-rich to water-poor regions and planning to meet the irrigation water demand under different climatic conditions.
- Increasing the broadleaf forest area could result in decreasing streamflow and groundwater recharge during the spring and summer. Urban expansion could result in increased surface runoff. Decreasing crops, like winter barley and grass areas and increasing oil seed rape area, would result in an increase in soil moisture deficit and a slight decrease in river flow. Impact of the land use changes on the water resources was much less than the effect of climate change. However, sustainable land use practices could potentially be used to mitigate the impact of climate change on the catchment’s water supplies. Generally, the findings from the modelling work can be used to review the surface water abstraction regulations, as the hydrological model proved to be a good tool to predict river flow and recharge to groundwater and is capable at simulating the effects of climate change on the different elements of the hydrological cycle.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Climate Time||Low Emissions||Medium Emissions||High Emissions|
|Change in Precipitation (%)||2020s||4.7||2.5||−6.7||4.23||1.18||5.7||0.97||−7.52||1.8||0.24||6.1||1||−8.16||1.61||0.14|
|Change in Temperature (°C)||2020s||1.1||1.18||1.61||1.62||1.38||1.27||1.2||1.72||1.6||1.45||1.3||1.2||1.5||1.65||1.41|
|Time Period||NSE %||R2||Modelled Flow m3 s−1||Observed Flow m3 s−1||% Error|
|Hydrological Variable||Seasons||Change in Land-Use Type|
|100% Grass Area Replaced by Barley||Grass Area Replaced by Oil Seed Rape||50% Winter Barley Replaced by Oil Seed Rape||100% Winter Barley Replaced by Oil Seed Rape||Grass Area Replaced by 40% Urban Expansion||All Crops Replaced as Broadleaved Forest|
|Groundwater GW recharge||Winter||12.86||−4.90||−7.6||−13.94||−1.92||−0.65|
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Afzal, M.; Ragab, R. Drought Risk under Climate and Land Use Changes: Implication to Water Resource Availability at Catchment Scale. Water 2019, 11, 1790. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091790
Afzal M, Ragab R. Drought Risk under Climate and Land Use Changes: Implication to Water Resource Availability at Catchment Scale. Water. 2019; 11(9):1790. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091790Chicago/Turabian Style
Afzal, Muhammad, and Ragab Ragab. 2019. "Drought Risk under Climate and Land Use Changes: Implication to Water Resource Availability at Catchment Scale" Water 11, no. 9: 1790. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091790