Impacts of climate change on water resources in the Mediterranean Basin: a case study in Catalonia, Spain

Diana Pascual, Eduard Pla, Joan A. Lopez-Bustins, Javier Retana, Jaume Terradas

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31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 IAHS. Most climate change projections show important decreases in water availability in the Mediterranean region by the end of this century. We assess those main climate change impacts on water resources in three medium-sized catchments with varying climatic conditions in northeastern Spain. A combination of hydrological modelling and climate projections with B1 and A2 IPCC emission scenarios is performed to infer future streamflows. The largest reduction (34%) in mean streamflows (for 2076–2100) is expected in the headwaters of the two wettest catchments, while lower decreases (25% of mean value for 2076–2100) are expected in the drier one. In all three catchments, autumn and summer are the seasons with the most notable projected decreases in streamflow, of 50% and 30%, respectively. Thus, ecological flows in the study area might be noticeably influenced by climate change, especially in the headwaters of the wet catchments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2132-2147
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Volume60
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Mediterranean Basin
  • Streamflow
  • SWAT
  • Water resources

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