Watershed Simulation for Characterizing Droughts Under the Influence of Climate Change

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by Ashutosh S. Limaye, Utah State Univ, Logan, United States,
J. Paul Riley, Utah State Univ, Logan, United States,
Alok K. Sikka, Utah State Univ, Logan, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives

Abstract: The paper describes a model for simulating soil moisture deficit on a daily basis using historical rainfall and climatic data for the analysis of droughts. Distributed parameter hydrologic budgeting is used in developing the model. Severity of a drought is determined by defining different threshold levels of soil water deficits. The incidence of drought is characterized by determining the number of days during the growing season when the simulated soil water deficit is above a value which is known to significantly impede crop growth. Weekly time series of soil water deficit is analyzed by the theory of runs to determine drought characteristics at desired truncation levels. Based on data and information from the literature for doubled CO2 induced climate change scenarios, historical temperatures and precipitation data are adjusted and used to simulate the effects of climate change on drought incidence. This study was conducted for Jodhpur, in the drought-prone State of Rajasthan, India. The variations in drought severity and duration for different climate change scenarios are discussed. Analyses of droughts based on soil water deficits and rainfall also are demonstrated to help plan drought management strategies.

Subject Headings: Climate change | Droughts | Soil water | Watersheds | Soil analysis | Hydrologic models | Weather forecasting | Hydrologic data | India | Asia | Rajasthan | North America | Colorado | United States

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