Assessing the impact of future climate change on groundwater recharge in Galicia-Costa, Spain

Raposo, Juan; Dafonte, Jorge; Molinero, Jorge
March 2013
Hydrogeology Journal;Mar2013, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p459
Academic Journal
Climate change can impact the hydrological processes of a watershed and may result in problems with future water supply for large sections of the population. Results from the FP5 PRUDENCE project suggest significant changes in temperature and precipitation over Europe. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to assess the potential impacts of climate change on groundwater recharge in the hydrological district of Galicia-Costa, Spain. Climate projections from two general circulation models and eight different regional climate models were used for the assessment and two climate-change scenarios were evaluated. Calibration and validation of the model were performed using a daily time-step in four representative catchments in the district. The effects on modeled mean annual groundwater recharge are small, partly due to the greater stomatal efficiency of plants in response to increased CO concentration. However, climate change strongly influences the temporal variability of modeled groundwater recharge. Recharge may concentrate in the winter season and dramatically decrease in the summer-autumn season. As a result, the dry-season duration may be increased on average by almost 30 % for the A2 emission scenario, exacerbating the current problems in water supply.


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