Main content area

Actual ET modelling based on the Budyko framework and the sustainability of vegetation water use in the loess plateau

Gao, Xuerui, Sun, Miao, Zhao, Qi, Wu, Pute, Zhao, Xining, Pan, Wenxiang, Wang, Yubao
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.579 pp. 1550-1559
ecological restoration, ecology, evapotranspiration, models, remediation, sustainable development, vegetation, water balance, China
Jointly influenced by the natural factors and the artificial protection measures, the ecological environment of Loess Plateau has been significantly improved in recent years, but which has already brought about some water-related problems. To maintain the balance between precipitation and water consumption is an important foundation for sustainable development of the ecology remediation. This study used Budyko Framework to simulate the actual water consumption of 161 sub-basins from 1990 to 2014. Based on the simulation results, the research also analyzed the evolution characteristics of water balance in Loess Plateau from 1990 to 2014. Results show that, with the increase of vegetation coverage, the regional precipitation and actual evapotranspiration were both showing a significant increasing trend, and the increasing rate of precipitation was 1.91mm/a on average, which was greater than the increasing rate of actual evapotranspiration of 1.34mm/a. To further demonstrate the water balance regime in Loess Plateau, the evapotranspiration coefficient (ECC) was used to quantitatively indicate the ratio of the vegetation water consumption and the total precipitation. The average values of ECC were 0.868, 0.863, 0.851 and 0.837 respectively in four sub-periods of 1990–1999, 2000–2004, 2005–2009 and 2010–2014. The above analyses indicate that with the vegetation recovery and ecological restoration, the percentage of evapotranspiration in the total precipitation is keeping decreasing and in turn the percentage of water yield in the total precipitation is keeping increasing. Consequently, it seems more sustainable for vegetation water use in most areas of Loess Plateau currently.