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Assessing Impacts of Conservation Measures on Watershed Hydrology Using MIKE SHE Model in the Face of Climate Change

Abstract

Climate change triggers changes in temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration, etc. and has a significant impact on water resources in many regions. Considering the increasing scarcity of water as a result of climate change, conservation of water and groundwater recharge have become crucial factors for water resources planning and management. In this paper, an attempt is made to study the detailed hydrological behaviour of a treated watershed using physically based distributed hydrological modelling system MIKE SHE to assess the impact of conservation measures on watershed hydrology considering future climate change. Three hypothetical management scenarios are simulated for the period 2010–2040. RegCM4 regional climate model is used in the study for RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios. Detailed hydrological water balance is extracted for individual years from 1979 to 2009 to compare relevant components. The evaluation for base period shows 10.06% reduction in surface runoff and 11.33% enhancement in groundwater recharge. Further simulation with RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios show notable reduction in surface runoff and increase in groundwater recharge. The structures in the micro-watershed influence the surface runoff and increase infiltration into the soil, resulting in higher groundwater recharge. MIKE SHE simulations for various structures management scenarios establish the role of conservation measures in reducing surface runoff and enhancing groundwater recharge under substantial effect of climate change. The results will assist in decision-making on watershed development plans in quantitative terms, including planning for water conservation measures in the face of climate change.

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Correspondence to Gajanan Ramteke.

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Ramteke, G., Singh, R. & Chatterjee, C. Assessing Impacts of Conservation Measures on Watershed Hydrology Using MIKE SHE Model in the Face of Climate Change. Water Resour Manage 34, 4233–4252 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-020-02669-3

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Keywords

  • Hydrological modelling
  • MIKE SHE
  • Watershed structures management
  • Climate change