EGU21-386, updated on 03 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Resiliency of High-Altitude Watershed to Dry Condition Under the Changing Climate

Eshrat Fatima1, Akif Rahim2, Shabeh ul Hasson3, Mujtaba Hassan4, Farhan Aziz5, and Muhammad Yousaf6
Eshrat Fatima et al.
  • 1University of Potsdam, Environmental Science and Geography, Subsurface Hydrology, Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Praha –Suchdol, 16500, Czech Republic.(
  • 3University of Hamburg, Department Institut für Geographie (IGeogr), Germany (
  • 4Institute of Space Technology, Department Space Science, Islamabad (
  • 5Jacobs Engineering Group,Lagend Tower,King Fahad Road, Al, Olaya , Riyad 12313, Kindom of Saudia Arabia.(
  • 6University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China. (

The hydrological cycle is generally known as a recurring result of various forms of water movement and changes in its physical state in nature over a specific area of ​​the earth (river or Lake Basin, a continent, or the whole earth). It is most likely that the increase in global warming will intensively affect the hydrological cycle regionally and globally which will ultimately affect the ecosystem, public health, and municipal water demand. Therefore, the resiliency of watershed to extreme events play a vital role to understand the health of the watershed. This study aims to quantify the resiliency of the Hunza watershed, which lies in the Western Karakoram, to dry conditions under the climate change projections i.e. RCPs 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5. We used a fully distributed hydrological model SPHY to simulate the impact of climate change on future water availability. The SPHY Model was calibration and validation for the time periods (1994-2000) and (2001-2006) respectively. The performance of the model was tested through statistical analysis such as Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), coefficient of determination (R2), percentage of bias (PBIAS), and root mean square error (RMSE).To develop future water scenarios, the daily temperature, and precipitation data were obtained from the CORDEX South Asia domain under three Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). The empirical quantile mapping method was used for the correction of the daily temperature and precipitation biases under the regional scale. The model was run for near (2007-2036), mid (2037-2066), and far-future (2067-2096) climate projections i.e. RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5. The resilience of watershed defined as the speed of recovery from dry conditions. The monthly Streamflow Drought Index (SDI) was used as an indicator of the dry condition. The resiliency of the watershed determines with the threshold levels of -0.5 and -1.0. The analysis indicates that the resiliency of the watershed has increased from 0.3 to 0.5 in the future under the RCP of 2.6. The value of resilience under the RCP of 4.5 is 0.29, 0.45, and 0.52 for near, mid, and far futures respectively. Under extreme climate conditions RCP 8.5, the watershed resilience is 0.2 in the near future and 0.3 in the mid-future, and 0.6 for the far future. Therefore, it can be concluded that the health of the reservoirs will be very good in the future to stabilize the drought.  

How to cite: Fatima, E., Rahim, A., ul Hasson, S., Hassan, M., Aziz, F., and Yousaf, M.: The Resiliency of High-Altitude Watershed to Dry Condition Under the Changing Climate, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-386,, 2020.

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