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Article

Hydrological Response of the Kunhar River Basin in Pakistan to Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts on Runoff Characteristics

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Department of Agricultural Engineering, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture, Multan 66000, Pakistan
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Institute of International Rivers and Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
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Department of Irrigation and Drainage, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 380000, Pakistan
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Department of Sanitary Engineering and Water Management, University of Agriculture in Krakow, 31-120 Kraków, Poland
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Research Center of Fluid Machinery Engineering and Technology, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
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School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
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International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Lalitpur 44700, Nepal
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Aizhong Ye
Water 2021, 13(22), 3163; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223163
Received: 22 September 2021 / Revised: 31 October 2021 / Accepted: 2 November 2021 / Published: 9 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology in Water Resources Management)
Pakistan is amongst the most water-stressed countries in the world, with changes in the frequency of extreme events, notably droughts, under climate change expected to further increase water scarcity. This study examines the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the runoff of the Kunhar River Basin (KRB) in Pakistan. The Mann Kendall (MK) test detected statistically significant increasing trends in both precipitation and evapotranspiration during the period 1971–2010 over the basin, but with the lack of a statistically significant trend in runoff over the same time-period. Then, a change-point analysis identified changes in the temporal behavior of the annual runoff time series in 1996. Hence, the time series was divided into two time periods, i.e., prior to and after that change: 1971–1996 and 1997–2010, respectively. For the time-period prior to the change point, the analysis revealed a statistically significant increasing trend in precipitation, which is also reflected in the runoff time series, and a decreasing trend in evapotranspiration, albeit lacking statistical significance, was observed. After 1996, however, increasing trends in precipitation and runoff were detected, but the former lacked statistical significance, while no trend in evapotranspiration was noted. Through a hydrological modelling approach reconstructing the natural runoff of the KRB, a 16.1 m3/s (or 15.3%) reduction in the mean flow in the KRB was simulated for the period 1997–2010 in comparison to the period 1971–1996. The trend analyses and modeling study suggest the importance of anthropogenic activities on the variability of runoff over KRB since 1996. The changes in streamflow caused by irrigation, urbanization, and recreational activities, in addition to climate change, have influenced the regional water resources, and there is consequently an urgent need to adapt existing practices for the water requirements of the domestic, agricultural and energy sector to continue being met in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Kunhar River Basin; streamflow; trend analysis; Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); anthropogenic impacts climate change; Kunhar River Basin; streamflow; trend analysis; Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); anthropogenic impacts
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MDPI and ACS Style

Saifullah, M.; Adnan, M.; Zaman, M.; Wałęga, A.; Liu, S.; Khan, M.I.; Gagnon, A.S.; Muhammad, S. Hydrological Response of the Kunhar River Basin in Pakistan to Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts on Runoff Characteristics. Water 2021, 13, 3163. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223163

AMA Style

Saifullah M, Adnan M, Zaman M, Wałęga A, Liu S, Khan MI, Gagnon AS, Muhammad S. Hydrological Response of the Kunhar River Basin in Pakistan to Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts on Runoff Characteristics. Water. 2021; 13(22):3163. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223163

Chicago/Turabian Style

Saifullah, Muhammad, Muhammad Adnan, Muhammad Zaman, Andrzej Wałęga, Shiyin Liu, Muhammad I. Khan, Alexandre S. Gagnon, and Sher Muhammad. 2021. "Hydrological Response of the Kunhar River Basin in Pakistan to Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts on Runoff Characteristics" Water 13, no. 22: 3163. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223163

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