Special Issue "Modeling Global Change Impacts on Water Resources: Selected Papers from the 2019/2020 SWAT International Conferences"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paul Wagner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, Kiel University, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Interests: hydrologic modeling; impacts of land use change and climate change on water resources; integration of remote sensing and modeling
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Prof. Dr. Balaji Narasimhan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, Chennai - 600036, India
Interests: Hydrological Modelling; Remote Sensing; large-scale simulations; climate/landuse change impact studies
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Dr. Javier Senent Aparicio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, Catholic University of San Antonio, 30107 Murcia, Spain
Interests: water management; climate change; hydrological modeling; ANN
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Dr. Abeyou W. Worqlul
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Blackland Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Temple, 76502, USA
Interests: Watershed Hydrology; Remote Sensing; Data-scarce Region; Agriculture System Design; APEX Model; Sustainability; Crop Growth Modeling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global change strongly affects water resources, impairing both water quantity and water quality. Assessments of the hydrologic impacts of climate change and land use change are, therefore, carried out in many parts of the world. However, the simultaneous effect of the two stressors on water resources is not often comprehensively investigated. Do impacts of land use and climate change add up or do they balance out on the catchment scale? We welcome modeling studies that use SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) or APEX (Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender) to assess global change impacts on the catchment scale. These may incorporate the use of climate and land use change scenarios for future predictions, as well as the assessment of past impacts. The use of climate model ensembles and land use model predictions is encouraged to address the uncertainty associated with global change impact assessments. Studies may focus on all kinds of water, sediment, and nutrient fluxes. We also invite contributions with a methodological focus, e.g. model improvements and parameterization approaches that help to better model the impacts of global change. We sincerely hope that these research papers contribute to a better understanding, assessment, and modeling of global change impacts on water resources.

Dr. Paul Wagner
Prof. Dr. Balaji Narasimhan
Dr. Javier Senent Aparicio
Dr. Abeyou Wale Worqlul
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Land use change
  • SWAT model
  • Model parameterization
  • Scenario analysis
  • Catchment hydrology
  • Data scarce regions
  • Uncertainty assessment

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
Application of SWAT Using Snow Data and Detecting Climate Change Impacts in the Mountainous Eastern Regions of Turkey
Water 2021, 13(14), 1982; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141982 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 864
Abstract
In recent years, the potential impacts of climate change on water resources and the hydrologic cycle have gained importance especially for snow-dominated mountainous basins. Within this scope, the Euphrates-Tigris Basin, a snow-fed transboundary river with several large dams, was selected to investigate the [...] Read more.
In recent years, the potential impacts of climate change on water resources and the hydrologic cycle have gained importance especially for snow-dominated mountainous basins. Within this scope, the Euphrates-Tigris Basin, a snow-fed transboundary river with several large dams, was selected to investigate the effects of changing climate on seasonal snow and runoff. In this study, two headwater basins of the Euphrates River, ranging in elevation between 1500–3500 m, were assigned and SWAT was employed as a hydrological modeling tool. Model calibration and validation were conducted in a stepwise manner for snow and runoff consecutively. For the snow routine, model parameters were adjusted using MODIS daily snow-covered area, achieving hit rates of more than 95% between MODIS and SWAT. Other model parameters were calibrated successively and later validated according to daily runoff, reaching a Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.64–0.82 in both basins. After the modeling stage, the focus was drawn to the impacts of climate change under two different climate scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) in two 30-year projection periods (2041–2070 and 2071–2099). From the results, it is estimated that on average snow water equivalent decreases in the order of 30–39% and snow-covered days shorten by 37–43 days for the two basins until 2099. In terms of runoff, a slight reduction of at most 5% on average volume is projected but more notably, runoff center-time is expected to shift 1–2 weeks earlier by the end of the century. Full article
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Article
Assessing Hydrological Vulnerability to Future Droughts in a Mediterranean Watershed: Combined Indices-Based and Distributed Modeling Approaches
Water 2020, 12(9), 2333; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092333 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Understanding the spatiotemporal distribution of future droughts is essential for effective water resource management, especially in the Mediterranean region where water resources are expected to be scarcer in the future. In this study, we combined meteorological and hydrological drought indices with the Soil [...] Read more.
Understanding the spatiotemporal distribution of future droughts is essential for effective water resource management, especially in the Mediterranean region where water resources are expected to be scarcer in the future. In this study, we combined meteorological and hydrological drought indices with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to predict future dry years during two periods (2035–2050and 2085–2100) in a typical Mediterranean watershed in Northern Morocco, namely, Bouregreg watershed. The developed methodology was then used to evaluate drought impact on annual water yields and to identify the most vulnerable sub-basins within the study watershed. Two emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) of a downscaled global circulation model were used to force the calibrated SWAT model. Results indicated that Bouregreg watershed will experience several dry years with higher frequency especially at the end of current century. Significant decreases of annual water yields were simulated during dry years, ranging from −45.6% to −76.7% under RCP4.5, and from −66.7% to −95.6% under RCP8.5, compared to baseline. Overall, hydrologic systems in sub-basins under the ocean or high-altitude influence appear to be more resilient to drought. The combination of drought indices and the semi-distributed model offer a comprehensive tool to understand potential future droughts in Bouregreg watershed. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Irrigation Water Resources Availability and Climate Change Impacts—A Case Study of Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kenya
Water 2020, 12(9), 2330; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092330 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Rice is an important cereal crop in Kenya, where it is mainly grown in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme, MIS. The serious challenges of MIS include low water use efficiency and limited available water resources. The objective of this study is to analyze the [...] Read more.
Rice is an important cereal crop in Kenya, where it is mainly grown in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme, MIS. The serious challenges of MIS include low water use efficiency and limited available water resources. The objective of this study is to analyze the current and future irrigation water resource availability for the improvement of future water management. A Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a public domain software supported by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Bushland, TX, USA, was used to estimate the current and future water resources availability from the MIS’s main irrigation water supply sources (River Thiba and River Nyamindi). CropWat, a computer program developed by the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy, was used to estimate irrigation water requirements from 2013–2016 and into the future (2020–2060 and 2061–2099). Future climatic data for total available flow and irrigation requirement estimations were downloaded from three General Circulation Models (GCMs). The data was bias corrected and down-scaled (with observed data) using a Climate Change Toolkit, a toolkit for climate change analysis developed by the Water Weather and Energy Ecosystem, Zurich, Switzerland. The results indicated that the highest irrigation water deficits were experienced in July and August based on the existing cropping pattern. Under a proposed future pattern, estimates show that MIS will experience water deficits mainly from June to October and from January to February. This study recommends that MIS management should put into strong consideration the simulated future estimates in irrigation water availability for the improvement of water management. Full article
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Article
Do Land Use Changes Balance out Sediment Yields under Climate Change Predictions on the Sub-Basin Scale? The Carpathian Basin as an Example
Water 2020, 12(5), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051499 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
The issue of whether land use changes will balance out sediment yields induced by climate predictions was assessed for a Carpathian basin (Raba River, Poland). This discussion was based on the Macromodel DNS (Discharge–Nutrient–Sea)/SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) results for the RCP [...] Read more.
The issue of whether land use changes will balance out sediment yields induced by climate predictions was assessed for a Carpathian basin (Raba River, Poland). This discussion was based on the Macromodel DNS (Discharge–Nutrient–Sea)/SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) results for the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios and LU predictions. To track sediment yield responses on the sub-basin level the studied area was divided into 36 units. The response of individual sub-basins to climate scenarios created a mosaic of negative and positive sediment yield changes in comparison to the baseline scenario. Then, overlapped forest and agricultural areas change indicated those sub-basins where sediment yields could be balanced out or not. The model revealed that sediment yields could be altered even by 49% in the selected upper sub-basins during the spring-summer months, while for the lower sub-basins the predicted changes will be less effective (3% on average). Moreover, the winter period, which needs to be re-defined due to an exceptional occurrence of frost and snow cover protecting soils against erosion, will significantly alter the soil particle transfer among the seasons. Finally, it has been shown that modeling of sediment transport, based on averaged meteorological values and LU changes, can lead to significant errors. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Influence of Farming Practices and Land Use on Groundwater Resources in a Coastal Multi-Aquifer System in Puck Region (Northern Poland)
Water 2020, 12(4), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041042 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
This study focuses on the modeling of groundwater flow and nitrate transport in a multi-aquifer hydrosystem in northern Poland, adjacent to Puck Bay (Baltic sea). The main goal was to investigate how changes in land use and farming practices may affect groundwater recharge [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the modeling of groundwater flow and nitrate transport in a multi-aquifer hydrosystem in northern Poland, adjacent to Puck Bay (Baltic sea). The main goal was to investigate how changes in land use and farming practices may affect groundwater recharge and submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to the sea and the associated N-NO3 fluxes. An integrated modelling approach has been developed, which couples the SWAT hydrologic model, MODFLOW-NWT groundwater flow model, and MT3DMS transport model. Transient simulations were performed for a 10 y period, assuming 10 different scenarios of land use (farming, grassland, forest) and crop types. Both recharge and SGD showed a distinct pattern of seasonal time variability. In terms of the average flow rates, the effect of varying crop type was more significant than that of land use change, with the minimum recharge and SGD corresponding to winter wheat and the maximum for peas and potatoes. Nitrate loads were strongly affected by both land use and crop type, with minimum values obtained for grassland and maximum values for canola. Full article
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Article
Climate Change Impact on Surface Water and Groundwater Recharge in Northern Thailand
Water 2020, 12(4), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041029 - 04 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1969
Abstract
Climate change is progressing and is now one of the most important global challenges for humanities. Water resources management is one of the key challenges to reduce disaster risk. In Northern Thailand, flood and drought have always occurred because of the climate change [...] Read more.
Climate change is progressing and is now one of the most important global challenges for humanities. Water resources management is one of the key challenges to reduce disaster risk. In Northern Thailand, flood and drought have always occurred because of the climate change impact and non-systematic management in the conjunctive use of both sources of water. Therefore, this study aims to assess the climate change impact on surface water and groundwater of the Yom and Nan river basins, located in the upper part of Thailand. The surface water and groundwater regimes are generated by a fully coupled SWAT-MODFLOW model. The future climate scenarios are considered from the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6 and 8.5, presented by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), in order to mainly focus on the minimum and maximum Green House Gas (GHG) emissions scenarios during the near future (2021–2045) periods. The results show that the average annual air temperature rises by approximately 0.5–0.6 °C and 0.9–1.0 °C under the minimum (RCP 2.6) and maximum (RCP 8.5) GHG emission scenarios, respectively. The annual rainfall, obtained from both scenarios, increased by the same range of 20–200 mm/year, on average. The summation of surface water (water yield) and groundwater recharge (water percolation) in the Yom river basin decreased by 443.98 and 316.77 million m3/year under the RCPs 2.6 and 8.5, respectively. While, in the Nan river basin, it is projected to increase by 355 million m3/year under RCP 2.6 but decrease by 20.79 million m3/year under RCP 8.5. These quantitative changes can directly impact water availability when evaluating the water demand for consumption, industry, and agriculture. Full article
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Article
Effect of Land Use/Cover Change on the Hydrological Response of a Southern Center Basin of Chile
Water 2020, 12(1), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010302 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2140
Abstract
Several impacts over ecosystem services have been produced by land use/cover changes, placing it as one of the main factors driving global environmental change. In the present study, the SWAT model was used to assess the effect of land use/cover changes on the [...] Read more.
Several impacts over ecosystem services have been produced by land use/cover changes, placing it as one of the main factors driving global environmental change. In the present study, the SWAT model was used to assess the effect of land use/cover changes on the hydrology response in the Andalien river basin from the south-central zone of Chile. Three land use/cover scenarios (LU_1986, LU_2001, and LU_2011) were compared over a period of 30 years (1984–2013) to remove the effect of climate variability on hydrology. The results show a significant decrease in total annual flows among the three LU scenarios. The greater differences in the annual flows of 25.05 m3/s were observed between LU_1986 and LU_2011 scenarios. The hydrological cycle dynamics in the basin show an increasing trend of evapotranspiration and surface flows with a significant decrease in percolation and lateral flow on a monthly and seasonal scale. This behavior can be explained by the increasing percentage of the basin area covered by exotic plantations, from 35.22% to 63.93% during the period. The evidence of these changes and the evaluation of their effects are particularly relevant for the long-term sustainable management of water resources. Full article
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Article
Hydrologic Responses to Climate Variability and Human Activities in Lake Ziway Basin, Ethiopia
Water 2020, 12(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010164 - 05 Jan 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Hydrological impacts of human activities and climate variability on Ketar and Meki watersheds of Lake Ziway basin, Ethiopia were studied using the soil and water assessment tool. Three land-use change and two climate variability scenarios were considered to analyze the separate and combined [...] Read more.
Hydrological impacts of human activities and climate variability on Ketar and Meki watersheds of Lake Ziway basin, Ethiopia were studied using the soil and water assessment tool. Three land-use change and two climate variability scenarios were considered to analyze the separate and combined impacts on annual water balance, monthly streamflow, and spatial distributions of evapotranspiration and water yield. The evaluation showed that changes in land use resulted in an increase in annual surface runoff and water yield for Ketar watershed and an increase in annual ET for Meki. Similarly, the climate variability resulted in a decrease in annual ET, surface runoff, and water yield for Ketar watershed and a decrease in ET for Meki. Overall, climate variability has greater impacts on the monthly streamflow compared to land-use change impacts. Similarly, greater sensitivity in hydrologic response was observed for Ketar watershed compared to Meki watershed. Full article
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Article
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(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010115 - 30 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Water Supply Stability for Drought-Vulnerable Boryeong Multipurpose Dam in South Korea Using Future Dry Climate Change Scenarios
Water 2019, 11(11), 2403; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112403 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
This study assessed the water supply stability for Boryeong multipurpose dam by applying future dry climate change scenarios and Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). CMCC-CM, INM-CM4, and IPSL-CM5A-MR RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios were selected as the future dry conditions using Runs [...] Read more.
This study assessed the water supply stability for Boryeong multipurpose dam by applying future dry climate change scenarios and Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). CMCC-CM, INM-CM4, and IPSL-CM5A-MR RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios were selected as the future dry conditions using Runs theory and Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). For historical (1980–1999), present (2000–2019), and future periods (2030s, 2050s, 2070s, and 2090s) of the 6 scenarios, SWAT model was used to simulate the future dam water supply stability. The stability was evaluated in terms of reliability (RT), resilience (RS), and vulnerability (V) based on the monthly target storage. The results showed that the future RT can be decreased to 0.803 in 2050s IPSL-CM5A-MR RCP 8.5 scenario from present 0.955. The future RS and V showed the minimum value of 0.003 and the biggest value of 3567.6 × 106 m3 in 2070s IPSL-CM5A-MR RCP 4.5 scenario. The future RT, RS, and V showed that the dam has low resilience and is vulnerable to future drought scenarios. Full article
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Article
Impact of Climate Change on Water Balance Components and Droughts in the Guajoyo River Basin (El Salvador)
Water 2019, 11(11), 2360; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112360 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
This study assessed how changes in terms of temperature and precipitation might translate into changes in water availability and droughts in an area in a developing country with environmental interest. The hydrological model Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to analyze [...] Read more.
This study assessed how changes in terms of temperature and precipitation might translate into changes in water availability and droughts in an area in a developing country with environmental interest. The hydrological model Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to analyze the impacts of climate change on water resources of the Guajoyo River Basin in El Salvador. El Salvador is in one of the most vulnerable regions in Latin America to the effects of climate change. The predicted future climate change by two climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) and five general circulation models (GCMs) were considered. A statistical analysis was performed to identify which GCM was better in terms of goodness of fit to variation in means and standard deviations of the historical series. A significant decreasing trend in precipitation and a significant increase in annual average temperatures were projected by the middle and the end of the twenty–first century. The results indicated a decreasing trend of the amount of water available and more severe droughts for future climate scenarios with respect to the base period (1975–2004). These findings will provide local water management authorities useful information in the face of climate change to help decision making. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Impact of CFSR and Local Climate Datasets on Hydrological Modeling Performance in the Mountainous Black Sea Catchment
Water 2019, 11(11), 2277; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112277 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
Precise representation of precipitation input is one of the predominant factors affecting the simulation of hydrological processes in catchments. Choosing the representative climate datasets is crucial to obtain accurate model results, especially in mountainous regions. Hence, this study assesses the suitability of the [...] Read more.
Precise representation of precipitation input is one of the predominant factors affecting the simulation of hydrological processes in catchments. Choosing the representative climate datasets is crucial to obtain accurate model results, especially in mountainous regions. Hence, this study assesses the suitability of the Climate Forecasting System Reanalysis (CFSR) and local climate data to simulate the streamflow at multiple gauges in the data-scarce mountainous Black Sea catchment. Moreover, the applicability of using the elevations band in the model is also tested. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used as a hydrological simulator. Calibration and uncertainty analysis are performed by using SWAT-CUP with the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting (SUFI-2) algorithm based on monthly streamflow data at six different hydrometric stations located at different altitudes. The results reveal that the CFSR dataset provides quite reasonable agreements between the simulated and the observed streamflow at the gauge stations compared to the local dataset. However, SWAT simulations with both datasets result in poor performance for the upstream catchments of the study area. Considering orographic precipitation by applying elevation bands to the local climate dataset using CFSR data leads also to significant improvements to the model’s performance. Model results obtained with both climate datasets result in similar objective metrics, and larger uncertainty with a coefficient variation (CV) ranging from 73% to 107%. This paper mainly highlights that (i) global climate datasets (i.e., CFSR) can be a good alternative especially for data-scarce regions, (ii) elevation band application can improve the model performance for the catchments with high elevation gradients, and iii) CFSR data can be used to determine precipitation lapse rate in data scarce-regions. Full article
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