Impact of reservoir operation and climate change on the hydrological regime of the Sesan and Srepok Rivers in the Lower Mekong Basin

Article

Abstract

The transboundary Sesan and Srepok sub-basins (2S) are the “hot-spot” areas for reservoir development in the Lower Mekong region, with 12 reservoirs built in the Vietnam territory. This study examines the impacts of reservoir operations in Vietnam and projected climate change on the downstream hydrologic regime of the 2S Rivers by jointly applying the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) models. Different scenarios of reservoir operation are considered and simulated to assess their impact on annual, seasonal, and monthly flow regimes under maximum hydropower capacity generation with and without taking into account the minimum flow requirement downstream near the Vietnam border with Cambodia. The precipitation and temperature projections from the high-resolution regional climate model HadGEM3-RA under two Representative Concentration Pathways, 4.5 and 8.5, of HadGEM2-AO are used as future climate change scenarios for the impact assessment. The study results show that reservoir operation leads to an increase in the dry season stream flows and a decrease in the wet season stream flows. The monthly flow regime exhibits considerable changes for both the Sesan and Srepok Rivers but with different magnitudes and patterns of increase and decrease. Climate change is likely to induce considerable changes in stream flows, though these changes are comparatively lower than those caused by reservoir operation. Climate change is likely to have both counterbalancing and reinforcing effects over the impact of reservoir operation, reducing changes during dry season but increasing changes in most of the other months.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thuy Loi UniversityHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands

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