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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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In this study, we assessed the sustainability of water resources in a Wadi region with the help of a hydrologic model. Our assessment showed that the increases in groundwater withdrawal and consumption exacerbate the negative impact of climate change on groundwater sustainability and hydrologic regime alteration. These alterations have severe consequences for a downstream wetland and its ecosystem. The approach may be applicable in other wadi regions with different climate and water use system.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-599
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-599

  13 Jan 2021

13 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Sustainable use of water resources in a Wadi system facing climate change impacts and growing groundwater demand

Nariman Mahmoodi1, Jens Kiesel1,2, Paul D. Wagner1, and Nicola Fohrer1 Nariman Mahmoodi et al.
  • 1Kiel University, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, Kiel 24118, Germany
  • 2Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Department of Ecosystem Research, Berlin 12489, Germany

Abstract. Understanding current and possible future alterations of water resources under climate change and increased water withdrawal allows for better water and environmental management decisions in arid regions. This study aims at analyzing the impact of groundwater withdrawals and climate change on groundwater sustainability and hydrologic regime alterations in a Wadi system in central Iran. A hydrologic model is used to assess streamflow and groundwater recharge of the Halilrood Basin on a daily time step under different scenarios over a model setup period (1979–2009) and for two future scenario periods (near future: 2030–2059 and far future: 2070–2099). The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) with a set of 32 parameters are used in conjunction with the Range of Variability Approach (RVA) to evaluate hydrologic regime change in the river. The results show that groundwater recharge is expected to decrease, and is not able to fulfil the increasing water demand in the far future scenario. The Halilrood River will undergo low and moderate flow alteration under both stressors during the near future as RVA alteration is classified as high for only three indicators, while in the far future, 11 indicators lie in high range. Absolute changes in hydrologic indicators are stronger when both climate change and withdrawals are considered in the far future simulations, since 27 indicators show significant changes and RVA show high and moderate level of changes for 18 indicators. Considering the evaluated RVA changes, future impacts on the freshwater ecosystems in the Halilrood Basin will be severe. The developed approach can be transferred to other Wadi regions for a spatially-distributed assessment of water resources sustainability.

Nariman Mahmoodi et al.

Status: open (until 10 Mar 2021)

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Nariman Mahmoodi et al.

Nariman Mahmoodi et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we assessed the sustainability of water resources in a Wadi region with the help of a hydrologic model. Our assessment showed that the increases in groundwater withdrawal and consumption exacerbate the negative impact of climate change on groundwater sustainability and hydrologic regime alteration. These alterations have severe consequences for a downstream wetland and its ecosystem. The approach may be applicable in other wadi regions with different climate and water use system.
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