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Effect of Dam operation on monthly and annual trends of flow discharge in the Qom Rood Watershed, Iran

Yaghmaei, Hiva, Sadeghi, Seyed Hamidreza, Moradi, Hamidreza, Gholamalifard, Mehdi
Journal of hydrology 2018 v.557 pp. 254-264
anthropogenic activities, rain, regression analysis, runoff, temperature, watersheds, Iran
Trends in flow discharge, temperature and rainfall from the Qom Rood Watershed, Iran, for a period of 1979–2016 were analyzed at monthly and annual time scales. Trend analyses were conducted using the Mann-Kendall test, the double-mass curve of mean annual discharge versus rainfall, and rainfall-runoff relationship before and after the 15 Khordad Dam operation. Multiple regression of flow discharge against rainfall and temperature was used to determine the residual trend at four meteorological and hydrological stations located upstream and downstream of the Qom Rood Watershed. Results showed that the temperature at the upstream and downstream stations did not have any significant trend, but a significant decreasing trend (P < .05) in rainfall was detected only in May (z = −1.66) at the downstream stations. There was a significant positive trend (P < .05) in rainfall in February (z = 2.22) and July (z = 2.15) at the upstream stations, and in October (z = 2.3) and November (z = 1.8) at the downstream stations. However, there was a noticeable decrease in monthly and annual flow discharge, and residual trend at 99% significance level at the downstream stations. At the upstream stations, the flow discharges had significant (P < .05) declining trend in all months, but annual flow discharge did not change significantly. Analysis of double mass curve between runoff and rainfall at the downstream stations showed an inconsistency in the line slope concordant with the time of 15 Khordad Dam operation. Annual mean discharge at the upstream stations did not show a significant change before and after 15 Khordad Dam operation. However, annual flow magnitude decreased significantly by 87.5 and 81.7% in Shad Abad and KoohSefid, respectively. These results confirmed that natural driving forces did not affect flow discharge changes and the observed decreasing tendency in flow discharge at the downstream stations was due to 15 Khordad Dam, and at the upstream stations due to diversion/storage dams. These findings highlighted the role of human interference in changing the hydrologic regime in the study area based on which appropriate adaptive decisions can be made.