Special Issue "Water Resource Variability and Climate Change"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2015).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yingkui Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996 USA
Interests: paleoclimate and environmental reconstruction; LiDAR and Earth surface processes; climate and human impacts on the environment; GIS and spatial analysis
Dr. Michael A. Urban
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211 USA
Interests: physical and cultural dynamics of landscape change, resource perception and environmental change, climate and human impacts on the environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change affects global and regional water cycling, as well as surficial and subsurface water availability. These changes have increased the vulnerabilities of ecosystems and of human society. Understanding how climate change has affected water resource variability in the past and how climate change is leading to rapid changes in contemporary systems is of critical importance for  sustainable development in different parts of the world. This Special Issue focuses on “Water Resource Variability and Climate Change” and aims to present a collection of articles addressing various aspects of water resource variability as well as how such variabilities are affected by changing climates. Potential topics include the reconstruction of historic moisture fluctuations, based on various proxies (such as tree rings, sediment cores, and landform features), the empirical monitoring of water variability based on field survey and remote sensing techniques, and the projection of future water cycling using numerical model simulations. Articles about recent discoveries related to water resource variability in paleoenvironmental reconstruction, hydrology, and geomorphology, as well as articles concerning new emerging technologies and their applications in monitoring water resource variability are all welcome.

Dr. Yingkui Li
Dr. Michael A. Urban 
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Global and regional water cycles
  • Climate change
  • Water resource variability
  • Remote sensing of water resources
  • LiDAR applications for water resources
  • Surface Water fluctuations
  • Model simulations of water resources

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Water Resource Variability and Climate Change
Water 2016, 8(8), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080348 - 17 Aug 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
A significant challenge posed by changing climates is how water cycling and surficial and subsurface water availability will be affected at global and regional scales. Such alterations are critical as they often lead to increased vulnerability in ecosystems and human society. Understanding specifically [...] Read more.
A significant challenge posed by changing climates is how water cycling and surficial and subsurface water availability will be affected at global and regional scales. Such alterations are critical as they often lead to increased vulnerability in ecosystems and human society. Understanding specifically how climate change affects water resource variability in different locations is of critical importance to sustainable development in different parts of the world. The papers included in this special issue focus on three broad perspectives associated with water resource variability and climate change. Six papers employ remote sensing, meteorological station-based observational data, and tree-ring records to empirically determine how water resources have been changing over historical time periods. Eight of the contributions focus on modeling approaches to determine how known processes are likely to manifest themselves as climate shifts over time. Two others focus on human perceptions and adaptation strategies in the midst of unstable or unsettled water availability. The findings and methods presented in this collection of papers provide important contributions to the increased study and awareness of climate change on water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Evaluation of Lake Chad Basin Using Space Borne and Hydrological Model Observations
Water 2016, 8(5), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050205 - 17 May 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
Sustainable water resource management requires the assessment of hydrological changes in response to climate fluctuations and anthropogenic activities in any given area. A quantitative estimation of water balance entities is important to understand the variations within a basin. Water resources in remote areas [...] Read more.
Sustainable water resource management requires the assessment of hydrological changes in response to climate fluctuations and anthropogenic activities in any given area. A quantitative estimation of water balance entities is important to understand the variations within a basin. Water resources in remote areas with little infrastructure and technological knowhow suffer from poor documentation, rendering water management difficult and unreliable. This study analyzes the changes in the hydrological behavior of the Lake Chad basin with extreme climatic and environmental conditions that hinder the collection of field observations. Total water storage (TWS) from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), lake level variations from satellite altimetry, and water fluxes and soil moisture from Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) were used to study the spatiotemporal variability of the hydrological parameters of the Lake Chad basin. The estimated TWS varies in a similar pattern as the lake water level. TWS in the basin area is governed by the lake’s surface water. The subsurface water volume changes were derived by combining the altimetric lake volume with the TWS over the drainage basin. The results were compared with groundwater outputs from WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model (WGHM), with both showing a somewhat similar pattern. These results could provide an insight to the availability of water resources in the Lake Chad basin for current and future management purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Basin Modelling of Future Hydrological Fluxes in the Indian Subcontinent
Water 2016, 8(5), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050177 - 28 Apr 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
The impact of climate change on the hydro-climatology of the Indian subcontinent is investigated by comparing statistics of current and projected future fluxes resulting from three RCP scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5). Climate projections from the CORDEX-South Asia framework have been bias-corrected using [...] Read more.
The impact of climate change on the hydro-climatology of the Indian subcontinent is investigated by comparing statistics of current and projected future fluxes resulting from three RCP scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5). Climate projections from the CORDEX-South Asia framework have been bias-corrected using the Distribution-Based Scaling (DBS) method and used to force the HYPE hydrological model to generate projections of evapotranspiration, runoff, soil moisture deficit, snow depth, and applied irrigation water to soil. We also assess the changes in the annual cycles in three major rivers located in different hydro-climatic regions. Results show that conclusions can be influenced by uncertainty in the RCP scenarios. Future scenarios project a gradual increase in temperature (up to 7 °C on average), whilst changes (both increase and decrease) in the long-term average precipitation and evapotranspiration are more severe at the end of the century. The potential change (increase and decrease) in runoff could reach 100% depending on the region and time horizon. Analysis of annual cycles for three selected regions showed that changes in discharge and evapotranspiration due to climate change vary between seasons, whereas the magnitude of change is dependent on the region’s hydro-climatic gradient. Irrigation needs and the snow depth in the Himalayas are also affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Bivariate Drought Analysis Using Streamflow Reconstruction with Tree Ring Indices in the Sacramento Basin, California, USA
Water 2016, 8(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040122 - 30 Mar 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Long-term streamflow data are vital for analysis of hydrological droughts. Using an artificial neural network (ANN) model and nine tree-ring indices, this study reconstructed the annual streamflow of the Sacramento River for the period from 1560 to 1871. Using the reconstructed streamflow data, [...] Read more.
Long-term streamflow data are vital for analysis of hydrological droughts. Using an artificial neural network (ANN) model and nine tree-ring indices, this study reconstructed the annual streamflow of the Sacramento River for the period from 1560 to 1871. Using the reconstructed streamflow data, the copula method was used for bivariate drought analysis, deriving a hydrological drought return period plot for the Sacramento River basin. Results showed strong correlation among drought characteristics, and the drought with a 20-year return period (17.2 million acre-feet (MAF) per year) in the Sacramento River basin could be considered a critical level of drought for water shortages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Climate Change on the Duration and Division of Flood Season in the Fenhe River Basin, China
Water 2016, 8(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8030105 - 16 Mar 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
This study analyzes the duration and division of the flood season in the Fenhe River Basin over the period of 1957–2014 based on daily precipitation data collected from 14 meteorological stations. The Mann–Kendall detection, the multiscale moving t-test, and the Fisher optimal [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the duration and division of the flood season in the Fenhe River Basin over the period of 1957–2014 based on daily precipitation data collected from 14 meteorological stations. The Mann–Kendall detection, the multiscale moving t-test, and the Fisher optimal partition methods are used to evaluate the impact of climate change on flood season duration and division. The results show that the duration of the flood season has extended in 1975–2014 compared to that in 1957–1974. Specifically, the onset date of the flood season has advanced 15 days, whereas the retreat date of the flood season remains almost the same. The flood season of the Fenhe River Basin can be divided into three stages, and the variations in the onset and retreat dates of each stage are also examined. Corresponding measures are also proposed to better utilize the flood resources to adapt to the flood season variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Estimating the Risk of River Flow under Climate Change in the Tsengwen River Basin
Water 2016, 8(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8030081 - 03 Mar 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study evaluated the overflow risk of the Tsengwen River under a climate change scenario by using bias-corrected dynamic downscaled data as inputs for a SOBEK model (Deltares, the Netherlands). The results showed that the simulated river flow rate at Yufeng Bridge (upstream), [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the overflow risk of the Tsengwen River under a climate change scenario by using bias-corrected dynamic downscaled data as inputs for a SOBEK model (Deltares, the Netherlands). The results showed that the simulated river flow rate at Yufeng Bridge (upstream), Erxi Bridge (midstream), and XinZong (1) (downstream) stations are at risk of exceeding the management plan’s flow rate for three projection periods (1979–2003, 2015–2039, 2075–2099). After validation with the geomorphic and hydrological data collected in this study, the frequency at which the flow rate exceeded the design flood was 2 in 88 events in the base period (1979–2003), 6 in 82 events in the near future (2015–2039), and 10 in 81 events at the end of the century (2075–2099). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Quality in a Tidal Estuarine System Using a Three-Dimensional Model
Water 2016, 8(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8020060 - 17 Feb 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Climate change is one of the key factors affecting the future quality and quantity of water in rivers and tidal estuaries. A coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model has been developed and applied to the Danshuei River estuarine system in northern Taiwan [...] Read more.
Climate change is one of the key factors affecting the future quality and quantity of water in rivers and tidal estuaries. A coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model has been developed and applied to the Danshuei River estuarine system in northern Taiwan to predict the influences of climate change on water quality. The water quality model considers state variables including nitrogen, phosphorus, organic carbon, and phytoplankton as well as dissolved oxygen, and is driven by a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The hydrodynamic water quality model was validated with observational salinity distribution and water quality state variables. According to the analyses of statistical error, predictions of salinity, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients from the model simulation quantitatively agreed with the observed data. The validated model was then applied to predict water quality conditions as a result of projected climate change effects. The simulated results indicated that the dissolved oxygen concentration was projected to significantly decrease whereas nutrients will increase because of climate change. Moreover, the dissolved oxygen concentration was lower than 2 mg/L in the main stream of the Danshuei River estuary and failed to meet the water quality standard. An appropriate strategy for effective water quality management for tidal estuaries is needed given the projected persistent climate trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Climate and Management Change Impacts on Water Quality and In-Stream Processes in the Elbe River Basin
Water 2016, 8(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8020040 - 28 Jan 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
Eco-hydrological water quality modeling for integrated water resources management of river basins should include all necessary landscape and in-stream nutrient processes as well as possible changes in boundary conditions and driving forces for nutrient behavior in watersheds. The study aims to assess possible [...] Read more.
Eco-hydrological water quality modeling for integrated water resources management of river basins should include all necessary landscape and in-stream nutrient processes as well as possible changes in boundary conditions and driving forces for nutrient behavior in watersheds. The study aims to assess possible impacts of the changing climate (ENSEMBLES climate scenarios) and/or land use conditions on resulting river water quantity and quality in the large-scale Elbe river basin by applying a semi-distributed watershed model of intermediate complexity (SWIM) with implemented in-stream nutrient (N+P) turnover and algal growth processes. The calibration and validation results revealed the ability of SWIM to satisfactorily simulate nutrient behavior at the watershed scale. Analysis of 19 climate scenarios for the whole Elbe river basin showed a projected increase in temperature (+3 °C) and precipitation (+57 mm) on average until the end of the century, causing diverse changes in river discharge (+20%), nutrient loads (NO3-N: −5%; NH4-N: −24%; PO4-P: +5%), phytoplankton biomass (−4%) and dissolved oxygen concentration (−5%) in the watershed. In addition, some changes in land use and nutrient management were tested in order to reduce nutrient emissions to the river network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in the Kunhar River Basin, Pakistan
Water 2016, 8(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8010023 - 16 Jan 2016
Cited by 22
Abstract
Pakistan is one of the most highly water-stressed countries in the world and its water resources are greatly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions. The present study investigates the possible impacts of climate change on the water resources of the Kunhar River basin, Pakistan, [...] Read more.
Pakistan is one of the most highly water-stressed countries in the world and its water resources are greatly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions. The present study investigates the possible impacts of climate change on the water resources of the Kunhar River basin, Pakistan, under A2 and B2 scenarios of HadCM3, a global climate model. After successful development of the hydrological modeling system (HEC-HMS) for the basin, streamflow was simulated for three future periods (2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2099) and compared with the baseline period (1961–1990) to explore the changes in different flow indicators such as mean flow, low flow, median flow, high flow, flow duration curves, temporal shift in peaks, and temporal shifts in center-of-volume dates. From the results obtained, an overall increase in mean annual flow was projected in the basin under both A2 and B2 scenarios. However, while summer and autumn showed a noticeable increase in streamflow, spring and winter showed decreased streamflow. High and median flows were predicted to increase, but low flow was projected to decrease in the future under both scenarios. Flow duration curves showed that the probability of occurrence of flow is likely to be more in the future. It was also noted that peaks were predicted to shift from June to July in the future, and the center-of-volume date—the date at which half of the annual flow passes—will be delayed by about 9–17 days in the basin, under both A2 and B2 scenarios. On the whole, the Kunhar basin will face more floods and droughts in the future due to the projected increase in high flow and decrease in low flow and greater temporal and magnitudinal variations in peak flows. These results highlight how important it is to take cognizance of the impact of climate change on water resources in the basin and to formulate suitable policies for the proper utilization and management of these resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment on Hydrologic Response by Climate Change in the Chao Phraya River Basin, Thailand
Water 2015, 7(12), 6892-6909; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7126665 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 14
Abstract
The Chao Phraya River in Thailand has been greatly affected by climate change and the occurrence of extreme flood events, hindering its economic development. This study assessed the hydrological responses of the Chao Phraya River basin under several climate sensitivity and greenhouse gas [...] Read more.
The Chao Phraya River in Thailand has been greatly affected by climate change and the occurrence of extreme flood events, hindering its economic development. This study assessed the hydrological responses of the Chao Phraya River basin under several climate sensitivity and greenhouse gas emission scenarios. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was applied to simulate the streamflow using meteorological and observed data over a nine-year period from 2003 to 2011. The SWAT model produced an acceptable performance for calibration and validation, yielding Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) values greater than 0.5. Precipitation scenarios yielded streamflow variations that corresponded to the change of rainfall intensity and amount of rainfall, while scenarios with increased air temperatures predicted future water shortages. High CO2 concentration scenarios incorporated plant responses that led to a dramatic increase in streamflow. The greenhouse gas emission scenarios increased the streamflow variations to 6.8%, 41.9%, and 38.4% from the reference period (2003–2011). This study also provided a framework upon which the peak flow can be managed to control the nonpoint sources during wet season. We hope that the future climate scenarios presented in this study could provide predictive information for the river basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Stressors and Strategies for Managing Urban Water Scarcity: Perspectives from the Field
Water 2015, 7(12), 6775-6787; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7126659 - 01 Dec 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
Largely because water resource planning in the U.S. has been separated from land-use planning, opportunities for explicitly linking planning policies to water availability remain unexamined. The pressing need for better coordination between land-use planning and water management is amplified by changes in the [...] Read more.
Largely because water resource planning in the U.S. has been separated from land-use planning, opportunities for explicitly linking planning policies to water availability remain unexamined. The pressing need for better coordination between land-use planning and water management is amplified by changes in the global climate, which will place even greater importance on managing water supplies and demands than in the past. By surveying land and water managers in two urbanizing regions of the western United States—Portland, Oregon and Phoenix Arizona—we assessed the extent to which their perspectives regarding municipal water resource management align or differ. We specifically focus on characterizing how they perceive water scarcity problems (i.e., stressors) and solutions (i.e., strategies). Overall, the results show a general agreement across both regions and professions that long-term drought, population growth, and outdoor water use are the most important stressors to urban water systems. The results of the survey indicated more agreement across cities than across professions with regard to effective strategies, reinforcing the idea that land-use planners and water managers remain divided in their conception of the solutions to urban water management. To conclude, we recommend potential pathways for coordinating the fields of land and water management for urban sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Remote Sensing Based Analysis of Recent Variations in Water Resources and Vegetation of a Semi-Arid Region
Water 2015, 7(11), 6039-6055; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7116039 - 03 Nov 2015
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study is designed to demonstrate use of free remote sensing data to analyze response of water resources and grassland vegetation to a climate change induced prolonged drought in a sparsely gauged semi-arid region. Water resource changes over Hulun Lake region derived from [...] Read more.
This study is designed to demonstrate use of free remote sensing data to analyze response of water resources and grassland vegetation to a climate change induced prolonged drought in a sparsely gauged semi-arid region. Water resource changes over Hulun Lake region derived from monthly Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) products were analyzed. The Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) analysis results from both GRACE and TRMM showed decreasing trends in water storage changes and precipitation over 2002 to 2007 and increasing trends after 2007 to 2012. Water storage and precipitation changes on the spatial and temporal scale showed a very consistent pattern. Further analysis proved that water storage changes were mainly caused by precipitation and temperature changes in this region. It is found that a large proportion of grassland vegetation recovered to its normal state after above average rainfall in the following years (2008–2012) and only a small proportion of grassland vegetation (16.5% of the study area) is degraded and failed to recover. These degraded grassland vegetation areas are categorized as ecologically vulnerable to climate change and protective strategies should be designed to prevent its further degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Water Discharge and Sediment Load Changes in China: Change Patterns, Causes, and Implications
Water 2015, 7(10), 5849-5875; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7105849 - 26 Oct 2015
Cited by 21
Abstract
In this research, monthly hydrological and daily meteorological data were collected across China for the period 1956–2012. Modified Mann–Kendall tests, double mass curve analysis, and correlation statistics were performed to identify the long-term trends and interrelation of the hydrometeorological variables and to examine [...] Read more.
In this research, monthly hydrological and daily meteorological data were collected across China for the period 1956–2012. Modified Mann–Kendall tests, double mass curve analysis, and correlation statistics were performed to identify the long-term trends and interrelation of the hydrometeorological variables and to examine the influencing factors of streamflow and sediment. The results are as follows: (1) In the last 60 years, the streamflow in northern China has shown different decreasing trends. For the southern rivers, the streamflow presented severe fluctuations, but the declining trend was insignificant. For the streamflow in western China, an increasing trend was shown. (2) In the northern rivers, the streamflow was jointly controlled by the East Asian monsoon and westerlies. In the southern rivers, the runoff was mainly influenced by the Tibet–Qinghai monsoon, the South Asian monsoon, and westerlies. (3) Sediment loads in the LCRB (Lancang River Basin) and YZRB (Yarlung Zangbo River Basin) did not present significant change trends, although other rivers showed different degrees of gradual reduction, particularly in the 2000s. (4) Underlying surface and precipitation changes jointly influenced the streamflow in eastern rivers. The water consumption for industrial and residential purposes, soil and water conservation engineering, hydraulic engineering, and underlying surface changes induced by other factors were the main causes of streamflow and sediment reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
MODIS-Derived Spatiotemporal Changes of Major Lake Surface Areas in Arid Xinjiang, China, 2000–2014
Water 2015, 7(10), 5731-5751; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7105731 - 21 Oct 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Inland water bodies, which are critical freshwater resources for arid and semi-arid areas, are very sensitive to climate change and human disturbance. In this paper, we derived a time series of major lake surface areas across Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), China, based [...] Read more.
Inland water bodies, which are critical freshwater resources for arid and semi-arid areas, are very sensitive to climate change and human disturbance. In this paper, we derived a time series of major lake surface areas across Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), China, based on an eight-day MODIS time series in 500 m resolution from 2000 to 2014. A classification approach based on water index and dynamic threshold selection was first developed to accommodate varied spectral features of water pixels at different temporal steps. The overall classification accuracy for a MODIS-derived water body is 97% compared to a water body derived using Landsat imagery. Then, monthly composites of water bodies were derived for the months of April, July, and September to identify seasonal patterns and inter-annual dynamics of 10 major lakes (>100 km2) in XUAR. Our results indicate that the changing trends of surface area of major lakes varied across the region. The surface areas of the Ebinur and Bosten Lakes showed a significant shrinking trend. The Ulungur-Jili Lake remained relatively stable during the entire period. For mountain lakes, the Barkol Lake showed a decreasing trend in April and July, but the Sayram Lake showed a significant expanding trend in September. The four plateau lakes exhibited significant expanding trends in all three seasons except for Arkatag Lake in July. The shrinking of major lakes reflects severe anthropogenic impacts due to agricultural and industrial needs, in addition to the impact of climate change. The pattern of lake changes across the XUAR can provide insight into the impact of climate change and human activities on regional water resources in this arid and semi-arid region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Choice of Soil Hydraulic Parameters for Simulating the Unsaturated Flow: A Case Study on the Island of Miyakojima, Japan
Water 2015, 7(10), 5676-5688; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7105676 - 20 Oct 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
We examined the influence of input soil hydraulic parameters on HYDRUS-1D simulations of evapotranspiration and volumetric water contents (VWCs) in the unsaturated zone of a sugarcane field on the island of Miyakojima, Japan. We first optimized the parameters for root water uptake and [...] Read more.
We examined the influence of input soil hydraulic parameters on HYDRUS-1D simulations of evapotranspiration and volumetric water contents (VWCs) in the unsaturated zone of a sugarcane field on the island of Miyakojima, Japan. We first optimized the parameters for root water uptake and examined the influence of soil hydraulic parameters (water retention curve and hydraulic conductivity) on simulations of evapotranspiration. We then compared VWCs simulated using measured soil hydraulic parameters with those using pedotransfer estimates obtained with the ROSETTA software package. Our results confirm that it is important to always use soil hydraulic parameters based on measured data, if available, when simulating evapotranspiration and unsaturated water flow processes, rather than pedotransfer functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Runoff and Sediment Yield Variations in Response to Precipitation Changes: A Case Study of Xichuan Watershed in the Loess Plateau, China
Water 2015, 7(10), 5638-5656; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7105638 - 19 Oct 2015
Cited by 9
Abstract
The impacts of climate change on hydrological cycles and water resource distribution is particularly concerned with environmentally vulnerable areas, such as the Loess Plateau, where precipitation scarcity leads to or intensifies serious water related problems including water resource shortages, land degradation, and serious [...] Read more.
The impacts of climate change on hydrological cycles and water resource distribution is particularly concerned with environmentally vulnerable areas, such as the Loess Plateau, where precipitation scarcity leads to or intensifies serious water related problems including water resource shortages, land degradation, and serious soil erosion. Based on a geographical information system (GIS), and using gauged hydrological data from 2001 to 2010, digital land-use and soil maps from 2005, a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was applied to the Xichuan Watershed, a typical hilly-gullied area in the Loess Plateau, China. The relative error, coefficient of determination, and Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient were used to analyze the accuracy of runoffs and sediment yields simulated by the model. Runoff and sediment yield variations were analyzed under different precipitation scenarios. The increases in runoff and sediment with increased precipitation were greater than their decreases with reduced precipitation, and runoff was more sensitive to the variations of precipitation than was sediment yield. The coefficients of variation (CVs) of the runoff and sediment yield increased with increasing precipitation, and the CV of the sediment yield was more sensitive to small rainfall. The annual runoff and sediment yield fluctuated greatly, and their variation ranges and CVs were large when precipitation increased by 20%. The results provide local decision makers with scientific references for water resource utilization and soil and water conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Perceptions about Adaptation Practices to Climate Change and Barriers to Adaptation: A Micro-Level Study in Ghana
Water 2015, 7(9), 4593-4604; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7094593 - 25 Aug 2015
Cited by 23
Abstract
This study analyzed the farmer-perceived importance of adaptation practices to climate change and examined the barriers that impede adaptation. Perceptions about causes and effects of long-term changes in climatic variables were also investigated. A total of 100 farmer-households were randomly selected from four [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the farmer-perceived importance of adaptation practices to climate change and examined the barriers that impede adaptation. Perceptions about causes and effects of long-term changes in climatic variables were also investigated. A total of 100 farmer-households were randomly selected from four communities in the Lawra district of Ghana. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGDs). The results showed that 87% of respondents perceived a decrease in rainfall amount, while 82% perceived an increase in temperature over the past 10 years. The study revealed that adaptation was largely in response to dry spells and droughts (93.2%) rather than floods. About 67% of respondents have adjusted their farming activities in response to climate change. Empirical results of the weighted average index analysis showed that farmers ranked improved crop varieties and irrigation as the most important adaptation measures. It also revealed that farmers lacked the capacity to implement the highly ranked adaptation practices. The problem confrontation index analysis showed that unpredictable weather, high cost of farm inputs, limited access to weather information, and lack of water resources were the most critical barriers to adaptation. This analysis of adaptation practices and constraints at farmer level will help facilitate government policy formulation and implementation. Full article
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