Stream flow variability and drought severity in the Songhua River Basin, Northeast China

Faiz M. A. , Liu D., Fu Q., Uzair M., Khan M. I. , Baig F., ...More

STOCHASTIC ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND RISK ASSESSMENT, vol.32, no.5, pp.1225-1242, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00477-017-1463-3
  • Page Numbers: pp.1225-1242


A slight variation in the magnitude of stream flow can have a substantial influence on the development of water resources. The Songhua River Basin (SRB) serves as a major grain commodity basin and is located in the northeastern region of China. Recent studies have identified a gradual decrease in stream flows, which presents a serious risk to water resources of the region. It is therefore necessary to assess the variation in stream flow and to predict the future of stream flows and droughts to make a comprehensive plan for agricultural irrigation. The simulation of monthly stream flows and the investigation of the influence of climate on the stream flow in the SRB were performed by utilizing the Integrated Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) tool coupled with observed precipitation data, as well as the Asian Precipitation-Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE's Water Resources) precipitation product. The Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient (NSC) was used to assess the WEAP efficiency. During the time of calibration, NSC was obtained as 0.90 and 0.67 using observed and APHRODITE precipitation data, respectively. The results indicate that WEAP can be used effectively in the SRB. The application of the model suggested a maximum decline in stream flow, reaching 24% until the end of 21st century under future climate change scenarios. The drought indices (standardized drought index and percent of normal index) demonstrated that chances of severe to extreme drought events are highest in 2059, 2060 and 2085, while in the remaining time period mild to moderate drought events may occur in the entire study area. The drought duration, severity and intensity for the period of 2011-2099 under all scenarios, [(A1B: 12, - 1.55, - 0.12), (A2: 12, - 1.41, - 0.09), (max. wetting and warming conditions: 12, - 1.37, - 0.11) and (min. wetting and warming conditions: 12, - 1.69, - 0.19)], respectively.