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Open AccessArticle

Estimation of the Climate Change Impact on the Hydrological Balance in Basins of South-Central Chile

1
Environmental Sciences Center EULA-Chile, University of Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile
2
Territorial Planning Department, Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile
3
Center of Waste Management and Bioenergy, Scientific and Technological Bioresources Nucleus, Universidad de la Frontera, Casilla 54-D, Temuco 4780000, Chile
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Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, Universidad de la Frontera, Casilla 54-D, Temuco 4780000, Chile
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Environmental Engineering Department, Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile
6
ECOLAB, University of Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, 31326 Auzeville-Tolosane, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Water 2021, 13(6), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060794
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 22 February 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 14 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources)
In this study, the SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) hydrological model is implemented to determine the effect of climate change on various hydrological components in two basins located in the foothills of the Andes: the Quino and Muco river basins. The water cycle is analyzed by comparing the model results to climatic data observed in the past (1982–2016) to understand its trend behaviors. Then, the variations and geographical distribution of the components of the hydrological cycle were analyzed using the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)8.5 climate scenario to model two periods considering the immediate future (2020–2049) and intermediate future (2050–2079). In this way, in the study area, it is predicted that yearly average temperatures will increase up to 1.7 °C and that annual average precipitation will decrease up to 210 mm for the intermediate future. Obtained results show that the analyzed parameters presented the same trend behavior for both periods of time; however, a greater impact can be expected in the intermediate future. According to the spatial distribution, the impact worsens for all the parameters as the elevation increases in both basins. The model depicted that yearly average evapotranspiration would increase around 5.26% and 5.81% for Quino and Muco basins, respectively, due to the large increase in temperature. This may cause, when combined with the precipitation lessening, a decrease around 9.52% and 9.73% of percolation, 2.38% and 1.76% of surface flow, and 7.44% and 8.14% of groundwater for Quino and Muco basins, respectively, with a consequent decrease of the water yield in 5.25% and 4.98% in the aforementioned watersheds, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; RCP8.5; SWAT model; water cycle components climate change; RCP8.5; SWAT model; water cycle components
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martínez-Retureta, R.; Aguayo, M.; Abreu, N.J; Stehr, A.; Duran-Llacer, I.; Rodríguez-López, L.; Sauvage, S.; Sánchez-Pérez, J.-M. Estimation of the Climate Change Impact on the Hydrological Balance in Basins of South-Central Chile. Water 2021, 13, 794. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060794

AMA Style

Martínez-Retureta R, Aguayo M, Abreu NJ, Stehr A, Duran-Llacer I, Rodríguez-López L, Sauvage S, Sánchez-Pérez J-M. Estimation of the Climate Change Impact on the Hydrological Balance in Basins of South-Central Chile. Water. 2021; 13(6):794. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060794

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martínez-Retureta, Rebeca; Aguayo, Mauricio; Abreu, Norberto J; Stehr, Alejandra; Duran-Llacer, Iongel; Rodríguez-López, Lien; Sauvage, Sabine; Sánchez-Pérez, José-Miguel. 2021. "Estimation of the Climate Change Impact on the Hydrological Balance in Basins of South-Central Chile" Water 13, no. 6: 794. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060794

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