Stream flow variability and drought severity in the Songhua River Basin, Northeast China

  • Muhammad Abrar Faiz
  • Dong LiuEmail author
  • Qiang FuEmail author
  • Muhammad Uzair
  • Muhammad Imran Khan
  • Faisal Baig
  • Tianxiao Li
  • Song Cui
Original Paper


A slight variation in the magnitude of stream flow can have a substantial influence on the development of water resources. The Songhua River Basin (SRB) serves as a major grain commodity basin and is located in the northeastern region of China. Recent studies have identified a gradual decrease in stream flows, which presents a serious risk to water resources of the region. It is therefore necessary to assess the variation in stream flow and to predict the future of stream flows and droughts to make a comprehensive plan for agricultural irrigation. The simulation of monthly stream flows and the investigation of the influence of climate on the stream flow in the SRB were performed by utilizing the Integrated Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) tool coupled with observed precipitation data, as well as the Asian Precipitation-Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE’s Water Resources) precipitation product. The Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient (NSC) was used to assess the WEAP efficiency. During the time of calibration, NSC was obtained as 0.90 and 0.67 using observed and APHRODITE precipitation data, respectively. The results indicate that WEAP can be used effectively in the SRB. The application of the model suggested a maximum decline in stream flow, reaching 24% until the end of 21st century under future climate change scenarios. The drought indices (standardized drought index and percent of normal index) demonstrated that chances of severe to extreme drought events are highest in 2059, 2060 and 2085, while in the remaining time period mild to moderate drought events may occur in the entire study area. The drought duration, severity and intensity for the period of 2011–2099 under all scenarios, [(A1B: 12, − 1.55, − 0.12), (A2: 12, − 1.41, − 0.09), (max. wetting and warming conditions: 12, − 1.37, − 0.11) and (min. wetting and warming conditions: 12, − 1.69, − 0.19)], respectively.


Songhua River Basin WEAP Climate change Drought 



This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51579044, 41071053, and 51479032), the Specialized Research Fund for Innovative Talents of Harbin (Excellent Academic Leader) (No. 2013RFXXJ001), and the Science and Technology Program of Water Conservancy of Heilongjiang Province (Nos. 201319, 201501, and 201503).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Abrar Faiz
    • 1
  • Dong Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Qiang Fu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Muhammad Uzair
    • 5
  • Muhammad Imran Khan
    • 1
  • Faisal Baig
    • 6
  • Tianxiao Li
    • 1
  • Song Cui
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Water Conservancy and Civil EngineeringNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Effective Utilization of Agricultural Water Resources of Ministry of AgricultureNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  3. 3.Heilongjiang Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center of Grain Production Capacity ImprovementNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Water-Saving Agriculture of Ordinary University in Heilongjiang ProvinceNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  5. 5.Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  6. 6.Department of Civil EngineeringMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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