Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-297
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-297
02 Oct 2020
 | 02 Oct 2020
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal HESS. A final paper is not foreseen.

Drought monitoring and prediction in climate vulnerable Pakistan: Integrating hydrologic and meteorologic perspectives

Taimoor Akhtar, Haris Mushtaq, and Muhammad Zia-ur-Rahman Hashmi

Abstract. Effective drought monitoring, prediction and early warning systems are crucial for management of human activities associated with water use in a climate affected world. In Pakistan, surface water flows predominantly originate from the transboundary Upper Indus sub-catchments of Chenab, Jhelum, Indus and Kabul rivers. Hence, impact of droughts manifested through water deficits in these catchments are strongly felt by downstream users. Use of different drought indicators is limited in Pakistan's operational drought monitoring system. Moreover, there is very limited prior literature that explores the use of multiple indicators for unearthing relationships between different drought types. This study aims to explore the relationship between meteorological and hydrological droughts in the Upper Indus catchments of Pakistan using the Standard Precipitation and Evaporation Index (SPEI) and the Standard Streamflow Index (SSI). Since there are no previous studies for the Indus that compare different distributions for SSI computation, we compare five distributions to adequately compute SSI values at catchment outlets. Our most crucial contribution in this study is analysis of seasonal cross-correlations and lagged cross-correlations between SSI and SPEI for the above-mentioned four catchments. The cross-correlation analysis shows strong lagged (with up to 2 lag months) cross-correlations between SPEI and SSI for Chenab, Jhelum and Kabul catchments in early Kharif months. These correlations may be used in operational drought monitoring and forecasting systems, and also in reservoir planning and operations (for Mangla resrvoir in Jhelum) in drought conditions. We strongly believe that the findings of this study can be used in future to collectively explore hydrological and meteorological drought perspectives in Pakistan and to successfully incorporate multiple indicators into operational drought management.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

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Taimoor Akhtar, Haris Mushtaq, and Muhammad Zia-ur-Rahman Hashmi

Interactive discussion

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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Taimoor Akhtar, Haris Mushtaq, and Muhammad Zia-ur-Rahman Hashmi

Data sets

SPEI and SSI time-series datasets for the Indus Basin of Pakistan Taimoor Akhtar, Haris Mushtaq, and Muhammad Zia-ur-Rahman Hashmi https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3825919

Taimoor Akhtar, Haris Mushtaq, and Muhammad Zia-ur-Rahman Hashmi

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Latest update: 19 Jun 2024
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Short summary
This study investigates the combined use of standard hydrologic and meteorologic indicators for monitoring drought characteristics in the Upper Indus Basin of Pakistan. Our results show that these indicators, and especially meteorologic indicators can be used in early operational drought monitoring within Kabul, Chenab and Jhelum basins. Moreover, the indicator datasets produced in this study are publicly available to facilitate future drought investigations in Upper Indus catchments.