SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Assessing future impacts of climate change on streamflow within the Alabama River Basin 
Authors:Quansah, J.E., A.B. Naliaka, S. Fall, R. Ankumah and G. El Afandi 
Volume (Issue):9(4) 
Article ID:55 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:climate change 
Secondary Application Category:hydrologic assessment 
Watershed Description:59,051 km^2 Alabama River, which drains part of southeast Tennessee, northeast Georgia and central/southwest Alabama, U.S. 
Calibration Summary: 
Validation Summary: 
General Comments: 
Abstract:Global climate change is expected to impact future precipitation and surface temperature trends and could alter local hydrologic systems. This study assessed the likely hydrologic responses and changes in streamflow due to future climate change within the Alabama River Basin (ARB) for the mid-21st century 2045 (“2030–2060”) and end-21st century 2075 (“2060–2090”). Using an integrated modeling approach, General Circulation Model (GCM) datasets; the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques Climate Model 5 (CNRM-CM5), the Community Earth System Model, version 1–Biogeochemistry (CESM1- BGC.1), and the Hadley Centre Global Environment Model version 2 (HADGEM2-AO.1), under medium Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5, and based on World Climate Research Program (WCRP)’s Couple Model Intercomparison Phase 5 (CMIP5), were assimilated into calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Mann–Kendall and Theil Sen’s slope were used to assess the trends and magnitude of variability of the historical climate data used for setting up the model. The model calibration showed goodness of fit with minimum Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) coefficient values of 0.83 and Coefficient of Determination (R2 ) of 0.88 for the three gages within the ARB. Next, the research assessed changes in streamflow for the years 2045 and 2075 against that of the reference baseline year of 1980. The results indicate situations of likely increase and decrease in mean monthly streamflow discharge and increase in the frequency and variability in peak flows during the periods from the mid to end of the 21st century. Seasonally, monthly streamflow increases between 50% and 250% were found for spring and autumn months with decreases in summer months for 2045. Spring and summer months for 2075 resulted in increased monthly streamflow between 50% and 300%, while autumn and spring months experienced decreased streamflow. While the results are prone to inherent uncertainties in the downscaled GCM data used, the simulated dynamics in streamflow and water availability provide critical information for stakeholders to develop sustainable water management and climate change adaptation options for the ARB. 
Keywords:climate change; streamflow; SWAT model; GCM; CNRM-CM5; CESM1-BGC.1; HADGEM2-AO.1; Alabama River Basin