2nd international conference, Water: Values and Rights. Palestine Academy for Science and Technology, Ramallah, Palestine

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Research Title: 
Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on Storm Runoff Generation in Arid and Semi-Arid Catchments: Up to Date Modeling Capabilities
Sameer Shadeed
Jens Lange
Thu, 2009-01-01
Research Abstract: 

Numerous recent studies have shown that significant changes in land use and climate may affect the overall functioning of a catchment. Despite ongoing research efforts, it is at present rather uncertain how, how much and at which spatial scale these changes are expected to disturb the runoff generation processes and consequently the flood discharges of catchments. This paper aims to assess the possible effects of land use and climate changes on the storm runoff generation in the Faria catchment. Faria catchment (320 km2), located in the northeastern part of the West Bank, Palestine, is characterized as arid to semi-arid region. For this purpose, an up to date process-oriented and physically-based distributed rainfall-runoff model (coupled TRAIN-ZIN) has been applied. The TRAIN-ZIN model was used to run land use and climate change scenarios to predict their effects on runoff characteristics as well as the overall availability of water resources in the Faria catchment. Eight scenarios were assumed and assessed. Consequently, and as indicated by the modeling results, some of the proposed scenarios have affected the runoff behavior in the Faria catchment. This depends on the runoff generation mechanisms which are controlling the relative importance of changes in land use and climate conditions. The obtained results shown that a 50% increase in built-up areas significantly affects the simulated runoff whereas insignificant effects are attained from modeling results of the projected climate change scenarios for the region by 2020 and 2050 except for scenario 4 (A2) where the effects on the generated floods are noticeable. This demonstrates the weaknesses of the present state of the art of the research studies in climatic change and its impacts on flood generation in the region. Such results can be utilized in the development of best management practices to be adopted to manage the scarce water resources in the region, under current and future global changes conditions.