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Modelling Impacts of Climate Change on a River Basin: Analysis of Uncertainty Using REA & Possibilistic Approach

Das, Jew, Treesa, Alin, Umamahesh, N. V.
Water resources management 2018 v.32 no.15 pp. 4833-4852
climate change, climate models, decision making, hydrologic models, meteorological data, monsoon season, scenario uncertainty, stream flow, watersheds, India
In the context of climate change, the uncertainty associated with Global Climate Models (GCM) and scenarios needs to be assessed for effective management practices and decision-making. The present study focuses on modelling the GCM and scenario uncertainty using Reliability Ensemble Averaging (REA) and possibility theory in projecting streamflows over Wainganga river basin. A macro scale, semi-distributed, grid-based hydrological model is used to project the streamflows from 2020 to 2094. The observed meteorological data are collected from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the streamflow data is obtained from Central Water Commission (CWC) Hyderabad. In REA, meteorological data are weighted based on the performance and convergence criteria (GCM uncertainty). Whereas in possibility theory, based on the projection of different GCMs and scenarios during recent past (2006–2015) possibility values are assigned. Based on the possibility values most probable experiment and weighted mean possible CDF for the future periods are obtained. The result shows that there is no significant difference in the outcomes is observed between REA and possibility theory. The uncertainty associated with GCM is more significant than the scenario uncertainty. An increasing trend in the low and medium flows is predicted in annual and monsoon period. However, flows during the non-monsoon season are projected to increase significantly. Moreover, it is observed that streamflow generation not only depends on the change in precipitation but also depends on the previous state of physical characteristics of the region.