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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-283
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-283
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  15 Jul 2020

15 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Reservoir evaporation in a Mediterranean climate: Comparing direct methods in Alqueva Reservoir, Portugal

Carlos Miranda Rodrigues1,2, Madalena Moreira1,3, and Rita Cabral Guimarães1,2 Carlos Miranda Rodrigues et al.
  • 1MED - Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Pólo da Mitra, Ap. 94, 7006-554 Évora, Portugal
  • 2Department of Rural Engineering, Universidade de Évora, Pólo da Mitra, Ap. 94, 7006-554 Évora, Portugal
  • 3Department of Architecture, Universidade de Évora, Escola dos Leões, Estrada dos Leões, 7000-208 Évora, Portugal

Abstract. Alqueva Reservoir is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe and is a strategic water storage for public supply, irrigation, and energy generation. The reservoir is integrated within the Multipurpose Alqueva Project (MAP), which includes almost 70 reservoirs in a water-scarce region of Portugal. The MAP contributes to sustainability in southern Portugal and has an important impact for the entire country. Evaporation is the key component of water losses from the reservoirs included in the MAP. To date, evaporation from Alqueva Reservoir has been estimated by indirect methods or pan evaporation measurements. Eddy covariance measurements were performed at Alqueva Reservoir from July to September in 2014 as this time of the year provides the most representative evaporation volume losses in a Mediterranean climate. This period is also the most important for irrigated agriculture, and is therefore the most problematic part of the year in terms of managing the reservoir. The direct pan evaporation approach was first tested and compared to eddy covariance evaporation measurements. A relationship was then established based on a pan coefficient (Kpan) multivariable function by using the identified governing factors: air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and incoming solar radiation. The mean Kpan for the period from June to September 2014 was 0.59, and the modelled mean daily reservoir evaporation in June, July, August, and September was 3.9 mm d−1, 4.2 mm d−1, 4.5 mm d−1, and 2.7 mm d−1, respectively. The total estimated reservoir evaporation for this 4-month period was 455.8 mm. The correlation between the estimated evaporation and the measured EC evaporation had an R2 value of 0.7. The developed Kpan function was validated for the same period in 2017, and yielded an R2 value of 0.68.

This study provides an applicable method for calculating evaporation based on pan measurements in Alqueva Reservoir, which can support regional water management. Moreover, the methodology presented here could be applied to other reservoirs, and the developed equation for Alqueva Reservoir could act as a first evaluation for the management of other Mediterranean reservoirs.

Carlos Miranda Rodrigues et al.

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Short summary
In Mediterranean environment, evaporation is a key component of reservoir water budgets. Prediction of surface evaporation becomes crucial for adequate reservoir water management. This study provides an applicable method for calculating evaporation based on pan measurements applied at Alqueva Reservoir (southern Portugal), one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. Moreover, the methodology presented here could be applied to other Mediterranean reservoirs.
In Mediterranean environment, evaporation is a key component of reservoir water budgets....
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