Long-term variations in runoff of the Syr Darya River Basin under climate change and human activities
In this study, we analyzed the hydrological and meteorological data from the Syr Darya River Basin during the period of 1930–2015 to investigate variations in river runoff and the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff. The Syr Darya River, which is supplied by snow and glacier meltwater upstream, is an important freshwater source for Central Asia, as nearly half of the population is concentrated in this area. River runoff in this arid region is sensitive to climate change and human activities. Therefore, estimation of the climatic and hydrological changes and the quantification of the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff are of great concern and important for regional water resources management. The long-term trends of hydrological time series from the selected 11 hydrological stations in the Syr Darya River Basin were examined by non-parametric methods, including the Pettitt change point test and Mann-Kendall trend tests. It was found that 8 out of 11 hydrological stations showed significant downward trends in river runoff. Change of river runoff variations occurred in the year around 1960. Moreover, during the study period (1930–2015), annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and annual potential evapotranspiration in the river basin increased substantially. We employed hydrological sensitivity method to evaluate the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff based on precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. It was estimated that human activities accounted for over 82.6%–98.7% of the reduction in river runoff, mainly owing to water withdrawal for irrigation purpose. The observed variations in river runoff can subsequently lead to adverse ecological consequences from an ecological and regional water resources management perspective.
river runoff variations; water resources management; land use/land cover changes; Mann-Kendall trend test; hydrological sensitivity analysis; Aral Sea; Central Asia
BISSENBAYEVA, Sanim; ABUDUWAILI, Jilili; SAPAROVA, Assel; and AHMED, Toqeer
"Long-term variations in runoff of the Syr Darya River Basin under climate change and human activities,"
Journal of Arid Land: Vol. 13
, Article 4.
Available at: https://egijournals.researchcommons.org/journal-of-arid-land/vol13/iss1/4