Probable streamflow changes and its associated risk to the water resources of Abuan watershed, Philippines caused by climate change and land use changes

Arnan Araza*, Maricon Perez, Rex Victor Cruz, Larlyn Faith Aggabao, Eugene Soyosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

One of the main impact areas of climate change (CC), and land use and land cover change (LULCC) is the hydrology of watersheds, which have negative implications to the water resources. Their impact can be indicated by changes on streamflow, which is quantifiable using process-based streamflow modelling of baseline and future scenarios.Here we include the uncertainty and associated risk of the streamflow changes for a robust impact assessment to agriculture. We created a baseline model and models of CC and LULCC “impact scenarios” that use: (1) the new climate projections until 2070 and (2) land cover scenarios worsened by forest loss, in a critical watershed in the Philippines. Simulations of peak flows by 26% and low flows by 63% from the baseline model improved after calibrating runoff, soil evaporation, and groundwater parameters. Using the calibrated model, impacts of both CC and LULCC in 2070 were indicated by water deficit (− 18.65%) from May to August and water surplus (12.79%) from November to December. Both CC and LULCC contributed almost equally to the deficit, but the surplus was more LULCC-driven. Risk from CC may affect 9.10% of the croplands equivalent to 0.31 million dollars, while both CC and LULCC doubled the croplands at risk (19.13%, 0.60 million dollars) in one cropping season. The findings warn for the inevitable cropping schedule adjustments in the coming decades, which both apply to irrigated and rainfed crops, and may have implications to crop yields. This study calls for better watershed management to mitigate the risk to crop production and even potential flood risks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStochastic environmental research and risk assessment
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Abuan watershed
  • Risk assessment
  • Streamflow
  • SWAT
  • SWAT-CUP
  • Uncertainty assessment

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