Assessing the impact of human interventions on floods and low flows in the Wei River Basin in China using the LISFLOOD model
Gai, Lingtong ; Nunes, João P. ; Baartman, Jantiene E.M. ; Zhang, Hongming ; Wang, Fei ; Roo, Ad de; Ritsema, Coen J. ; Geissen, Violette - \ 2019
Science of the Total Environment 653 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1077 - 1094.
Flood return period - Hydrological model - Land use - LISFLOOD - Reservoir - Water diversion
Floods are extreme hydroclimatic events that threaten societies and ecosystems. The effects of these events are greatly influenced by the changes that humans have imposed on the environment. The LISFLOOD model is a physically based rainfall-runoff model that simulates the hydrological processes in a catchment. Using globally available land cover, soil, and vegetation as well as meteorological and geographical datasets as input, the LISFLOOD model has the potential to be applied worldwide, even for regions where data are lacking. This study first calibrated and validated the LISFLOOD model in the Wei River Basin in China (432,000 km2) for the years between 2000 and 2010 at 0.05° resolution with a monthly Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient of 0.79 at the Huaxian station located at the catchment outlet. The outlets of 17 tributaries draining into the main river were then identified in order to assess the contribution of each tributary to the total runoff occurring as a result of flooding. Four categories of scenarios focusing on human interventions in the basin were created and evaluated: 1) Business as usual, 2) Additional reservoirs constructed in different catchments, 3) Land use as in 1980, and 4) Water diversion plan with a pipeline injection of a fixed daily inflow from an adjacent catchment. The results of the scenarios are presented for three strategically important cities located on the floodplain. In general, the construction of the reservoirs could have an effect on reducing peak flows and decreasing the flood return periods while increasing the low flows. The water diversion plan scenarios increased the low flow by 41 times averaged for the three cities. In conclusion, the LISFLOOD model is a sophisticated model for land and water management planning on the catchment scale for reducing the effects of flood and drought.
Preserving the world second largest hypersaline lake under future irrigation and climate change
Shadkam, Somayeh ; Ludwig, Fulco ; Vliet, Michelle T.H. van; Pastor, Amandine ; Kabat, Pavel - \ 2016
Science of the Total Environment 559 (2016). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 317 - 325.
Climate change - Hydrological model - Hypersaline lake - Irrigation - Reservoirs - Urmia Lake
Iran Urmia Lake, the world second largest hypersaline lake, has been largely desiccated over the last two decades resulting in socio-environmental consequences similar or even larger than the Aral Sea disaster. To rescue the lake a new water management plan has been proposed, a rapid 40% decline in irrigation water use replacing a former plan which intended to develop reservoirs and irrigation. However, none of these water management plans, which have large socio-economic impacts, have been assessed under future changes in climate and water availability. By adapting a method of environmental flow requirements (EFRs) for hypersaline lakes, we estimated annually 3.7·109 m3 water is needed to preserve Urmia Lake. Then, the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model was forced with bias-corrected climate model outputs for both the lowest (RCP2.6) and highest (RCP8.5) greenhouse-gas concentration scenarios to estimate future water availability and impacts of water management strategies. Results showed a 10% decline in future water availability in the basin under RCP2.6 and 27% under RCP8.5. Our results showed that if future climate change is highly limited (RCP2.6) inflow can be just enough to meet the EFRs by implementing the reduction irrigation plan. However, under more rapid climate change scenario (RCP8.5) reducing irrigation water use will not be enough to save the lake and more drastic measures are needed. Our results showed that future water management plans are not robust under climate change in this region. Therefore, an integrated approach of future land-water use planning and climate change adaptation is therefore needed to improve future water security and to reduce the desiccating of this hypersaline lake.