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Can the combining of wetlands with reservoir operation reduce the risk of future floods and droughts?


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Wu, Yanfeng ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9441-8499; Sun, Jingxuan; Hu, Boting; Xu, Y. Jun; Rousseau, Alain N. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3439-2124 et Zhang, Guangxin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5339-0426 (2023). Can the combining of wetlands with reservoir operation reduce the risk of future floods and droughts? Hydrology and Earth System Sciences , vol. 27 , nº 14. pp. 2725-2745. DOI: 10.5194/hess-27-2725-2023.

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Wetlands and reservoirs are important water flow and storage regulators in a river basin; therefore, they can play a crucial role in mitigating flood and hydrological drought risks. Despite the advancement of river basin theory and modeling, our knowledge is still limited about the extent to which these two regulators could perform such a role, especially under future climate extremes. To improve our understanding, we first coupled wetlands and reservoir operations into a semi-spatially explicit hydrological model and then applied it in a case study involving a large river basin in northeast China. The projection of future floods and hydrological droughts was performed using the hydrological model during different periods (near future: 2026–2050, middle century: 2051–2075, and end century: 2076–2100) under five future climate change scenarios. We found that the risk of future floods and hydrological droughts can vary across different periods – in particular, it will experience relatively large increases and slight decreases. This large river basin will experience flood events of longer duration, with larger peak flows and volume, and of enhanced flashiness compared to the historical period. Simultaneously, the hydrological droughts will be much more frequent, with longer durations and more serious deficits. Therefore, the risk of floods and droughts will, overall, increase further under future climate change even under the combined influence of reservoirs and wetlands. These findings highlight the hydrological regulation function of wetlands and reservoirs and attest that the combining of wetlands with reservoir operation cannot fully eliminate the increasing future flood and drought risks. To improve a river basin's resilience to the risks of future climate change, we argue that the implementation of wetland restoration and the development of accurate forecasting systems for effective reservoir operation are of great importance. Furthermore, this study demonstrated a wetland–reservoir integrated modeling and assessment framework that is conducive to risk assessment of floods and hydrological droughts and that can be used for other river basins in the world.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: wetlands; reservoirs; floods; hydrological droughts
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 28 févr. 2024 21:32
Dernière modification: 29 févr. 2024 16:01
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/13683

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