Assessing Climate Change Impact on Water Balance Components Using Integrated Groundwater–Surface Water Models (Case Study: Shazand Plain, Iran)
Author: Ronny Berndtsson (Lund University), Farzaneh Soltani (University of Tehran), Abbas Roozbahani (University of Tehran), Ali Reza Massah (University of Tehran), Saman Javadi (University of Tehran), Sami Ghordoyee (University of Tehran), Rahimeh Maghsoudi (University of Tehran), Golmar Golmohammad (University of Florida)
Assessing the status of water resources is essential for long-term planning related to water and many other needs of a country. According to climate reports, climate change is on the rise in all parts of the world; however, this phenomenon will have more consequences in arid and semi-arid regions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of climate change on groundwater, surface water, and their exchanges in Shazand plain in Iran, which has experienced a significant decline in streamflow and groundwater level in recent years. To address this issue, we propose the use of the integrated hydrological model MODFLOW-OWHM to simulate groundwater level, surface water routing, and their interactions; a climate model, NorESM, under scenario SSP2, for climate data prediction; and, finally, the HEC-HMS model to predict future river discharge. The results predict that, under future climate conditions, the river discharges at the hydrometric stations of the region may decrease by 58%, 63%, 75%, and 81%. The average groundwater level in 2060 may decrease significantly by 15.1 m compared to 2010. The results of this study reveal the likely destructive effects of climate change on water resources in this region and highlight the need for sustainable management methods to mitigate these future effects.