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Open AccessArticle

Hydrological Alteration Index as an Indicator of the Calibration Complexity of Water Quantity and Quality Modeling in the Context of Global Change

1
ECOLAB, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, 31326 Toulouse, France
2
Research Institute of Water Environmental Engineering (IIAMA), Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Italy
3
Department of Soil and Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
4
INSA, Université de Toulouse, 135 Avenue de Rangueil, 31077 Toulouse, France
5
Hydro-Environmental Processes Research Group, Aplied Chemistry Department, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain
6
Pyrenean Institute of Ecology, Spanish National Research Council, Av. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
7
Applied Physics Department, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Campus Puerto Real S/N, University of Cádiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain
8
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering, University of Castilla La Mancha, 45002 Toledo, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010115
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 25 December 2019 / Accepted: 26 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
Modeling is a useful way to understand human and climate change impacts on the water resources of agricultural watersheds. Calibration and validation methodologies are crucial in forecasting assessments. This study explores the best calibration methodology depending on the level of hydrological alteration due to human-derived stressors. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is used to evaluate hydrology in South-West Europe in a context of intensive agriculture and water scarcity. The Index of Hydrological Alteration (IHA) is calculated using discharge observation data. A comparison of two SWAT calibration methodologies are done; a conventional calibration (CC) based on recorded in-stream water quality and quantity and an additional calibration (AC) adding crop managements practices. Even if the water quality and quantity trends are similar between CC and AC, water balance, irrigation and crop yields are different. In the context of rainfall decrease, water yield decreases in both CC and AC, while crop productions present opposite trends (+33% in CC and −31% in AC). Hydrological performance between CC and AC is correlated to IHA: When the level of IHA is under 80%, AC methodology is necessary. The combination of both calibrations appears essential to better constrain the model and to forecast the impact of climate change or anthropogenic influences on water resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; calibration; large-scale; water resource; quality; global change SWAT; calibration; large-scale; water resource; quality; global change
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Cakir, R.; Raimonet, M.; Sauvage, S.; Paredes-Arquiola, J.; Grusson, Y.; Roset, L.; Meaurio, M.; Navarro, E.; Sevilla-Callejo, M.; Lechuga-Crespo, J.L.; Gomiz Pascual, J.J.; Bodoque, J.M.; Sánchez-Pérez, J.M. Hydrological Alteration Index as an Indicator of the Calibration Complexity of Water Quantity and Quality Modeling in the Context of Global Change. Water 2020, 12, 115.

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