An obvious decline in runoff of the Weihe River has been detected during the last half-century. Climate change and human activity acted as two major factors inducing the reduction. However, little knowledge is acquired on how and to what extent the decadal climate change and human activity induced runoff variations, which is essential for regional water resources planning and management. In this study, the observed data of 3 hydrological stations and 31 meteorological stations were used to analyze the runoff variability, and Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model (Xu Liang, Seattle, WA, United States of America) coupled with scenario simulation was employed to attribute runoff variation of each period. The results showed that runoff decreased significantly at a rate of −1.01 × 108
with obvious stage characteristic during 1961–2016. The water yield was highest in the 1960s and varying degrees of decline were detected in the following periods, resulting in a decrease of available freshwater by 20.54%–58.24%. Human activity had a dominant contribution to induce an increasing runoff decline from 2.068 to 5.776 km3
, while the effect of climate was relatively small and lead to runoff reduction, except in the 1970s. This study gave a comprehensive understanding of time-varying runoff variability and highlighted the importance of appropriate human intervention with respect to climate change to ensure water resources security.
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