Articles | Volume 368
06 May 2015
 | 06 May 2015

An evaluation of the effect of future climate on runoff in the Dongjiang River basin, South China

K. Lin, W. Zhai, S. Huang, and Z. Liu

Keywords: Climate change, LUCC, runoff, SWAT, Dongjiang River basin

Abstract. The impact of future climate change on the runoff for the Dongjiang River basin, South China, has been investigated with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). First, the SWAT model was applied in the three sub-basins of the Dongjiang River basin, and calibrated for the period of 1970–1975, and validated for the period of 1976–1985. Then the hydrological response under climate change and land use scenario in the next 40 years (2011–2050) was studied. The future weather data was generated by using the weather generators of SWAT, based on the trend of the observed data series (1966–2005). The results showed that under the future climate change and LUCC scenario, the annual runoff of the three sub-basins all decreased. Its impacts on annual runoff were –6.87%, –6.54%, and –18.16% for the Shuntian, Lantang, and Yuecheng sub-basins respectively, compared with the baseline period 1966–2005. The results of this study could be a reference for regional water resources management since Dongjiang River provides crucial water supplies to Guangdong Province and the District of Hong Kong in China.