Water scarcity and water pollution constitute a big challenge for water managers in the Mediterranean region today and will exacerbate in a projected future warmer world, making a holistic approach for water resources management at the catchment scale essential. We expanded the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model developed for a small Mediterranean catchment to quantify the potential effects of various climate change scenarios on catchment hydrology as well as the trophic state of a new kind of waterbody, a limno-reservoir (Pareja Limno-reservoir), created for environmental and recreational purposes. Simulations showed a noticeable impact of climate change in the river flow regime and consequently the water level of the limno-reservoir, especially during summer, complicating the fulfillment of its purposes. All the scenarios predicted a deterioration of trophic conditions in the Pareja Limno-reservoir and a switch from an oligo-mesotrophic to a mesotrophic state, which may threaten the maintenance of a favourable water quality. Our model framework may help water managers to assess and manage how climate change affects aquatic ecosystems.
Main Research Area:
Ecological Modelling for Ecosystem Sustainability in the context of Global Change, 2013