HW16 Observations and Modelling of Land–Atmosphere–Society Interactions in Hydrology

IAHS (Hydrology)

25-Jun-2015, 13:30 - 15:00

Abstract content:

Environmental risk of climate change and groundwater abstraction on stream ecological conditions

A doubling of groundwater abstraction rates has been proposed in selected areas of Denmark to meet water resource demands. Combined with projected climate change, which is characterised by increased annual temperature, precipitation, and evapotranspiration rates for the country, the impacts to low flows and groundwater levels are of interest, as they relate to aquatic habitat and nitrate leaching, respectively. This study evaluates the risk to stream ecological conditions for a lowland Danish catchment under multiple scenarios of climate change and groundwater abstraction. Projections of future climate from 11 ENSEMBLES climate models are first bias corrected with a distribution based scaling method and then used to force hydrological simulations of stream discharge, groundwater recharge, and nitrate leaching from the root zone. Hydrological modelling utilises a sequential coupling methodology with DAISY, a one dimensional crop model describing soil water dynamics in the root zone, and MIKE SHE, a distributed groundwater-surface water model. The relative and combined impacts on low flows, groundwater levels, and nitrate leaching are quantified and compared to assess the water resource sensitivity and risk to stream ecological conditions. We find low flow and annual discharge to be most impacted by scenarios of climate change, with high variation across climate models (+/- 40% change). Doubling of current groundwater abstraction rates reduces annual discharge by approximately 20%, with higher reductions to low flows seen around 40%. Climate change has a greater relative impact on groundwater levels (+/- 25%) than the groundwater abstraction scenarios (+/- 5%) alone, though the combined impacts can change groundwater levels up to +/- 35%.

L. Seaby1, E. Boegh1, N. Jensen1.
1Roskilde University, Environmental- Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde, Denmark.


climate change     groundwater abstraction     low flow     hydrological modelling     environmental risk