EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling the response of non-perennial streams to climate change impact: The Bouregreg watershed in Morocco

Anna Maria De Girolamo2, Youssef Brouziyne1, Lahcen Benaabidate3, Aziz Aboubdillah4, Ali El Bilali5, Lhoussaine Bouchaou1,6, and Abdelghani Chehbouni1,7
Anna Maria De Girolamo et al.
  • 1Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), International Water Research Institute, Benguerir, Morocco;
  • 2Water Research Institute-National Research Council, Bari, Italy (
  • 3Laboratory of Functional Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of sciences & Techniques, P.O.Box: 2202, Fez , 30000, Morocco;
  • 4Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknes, BP/40, Meknes, 50001, Morocco
  • 5Hassan II University of Casablanca, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Mohammedia, Morocco
  • 6Laboratory of applied Geology and Geo-Environment, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Zohr University, BP/8106, Cité Dakhla, Agadir, 8000, Morocco;
  • 7Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), unité mixte de recherche (UMR) Centre d'études spatiales de la biosphère (Cesbio),Toulouse, 31400, France

The non-perennial streams and rivers are predominant in the Mediterranean region and play an important ecological role in the ecosystem diversity in this region. This class of streams is particularly vulnerable to climate change effects that are expected to amplify further under most climatic projections. Understanding the potential response of the hydrologic regime attributes to climatic stress helps in planning better conservation and management strategies. Bouregreg watershed (BW) in Morocco, is a strategic watershed for the region with a developed non-perennial stream network, and with typical assets and challenges of most Mediterranean watersheds. In this study, a hybrid modeling approach, based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model and Indicator of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) program, was used to simulate the response of BW's stream network to climate change during the period: 2035-2050. Downscaled daily climate data from the global circulation model CNRM-CM5 were used to force the hybrid modeling framework over the study area. Results showed that, under the changing climate, the magnitude of the alteration will be different across the stream network; however, almost the entire flow regime attributes will be affected. Under the RCP8.5 scenario, the average number of zero-flow days will rise up from 3 to 17.5 days per year in some streams, the timing of the maximum flow was calculated to occur earlier by 17 days than in baseline, and the timing of the minimal flow should occur later by 170 days in some streams. The used modeling approach in this study contributed in identifying the most vulnerable streams in the BW to climate change for potential prioritization in conservation plans.

How to cite: De Girolamo, A. M., Brouziyne, Y., Benaabidate, L., Aboubdillah, A., El Bilali, A., Bouchaou, L., and Chehbouni, A.: Modeling the response of non-perennial streams to climate change impact: The Bouregreg watershed in Morocco, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9414,, 2021.


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