Climate Change impacts on Guadiana Transboundary river basin, Spain and Portugal.

16:15 Wednesday 29 May


Room S10


Carla Palop-Donat (Spain) 1; Javier Paredes-Arquiola (Spain) 1; Joaquín Andreu-á lvarez (Spain) 1

1 - Water Resources Engineering Research Group / Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering / Universitat Politècnica de València

The aim of this study is to analyze the impacts of climate change in water resources and management of Guadiana river basin.

Transboundary river basin of Guadiana is in the South West of the Iberian Peninsula and occupies an area of 67,139 km2 between Spain and Portugal. The basin is characterized by Mediterranean-continental climate. The main climate characteristic is a well-defined dry season and marked thermal oscillations, which generate scarce rainfall and high summer temperatures that entail sever low water levels. Guadiana basin is used to suffer drought periods that will challenge the water managers to regulate water demands. Water users in the basin are manly agricultural, as it is a rural area. Water management in the basin is highly regulated by dam construction.

The methodology used in this study was to apply climate change models, introduce them to a water allocation model and generate Sustainability Indices. SWICCA is a database of climate models that predict future climate change scenarios in 2020, 2050 and 2080. Aquatool – SIMGES (Andreu, et al. 1992) is a water allocation model that simulates the river basin functioning considering the main water demands, urban, agricultural and environmental flows. Finally, we applied the performance indicators reliability, resilience, and vulnerability, and aggregated them into the sustainability index (Sandoval-Solis, et al. 2011)

The results show that within the basin there is a spatial variation in the effect of climate change in the different subsystems. In order to maintain the current values of the sustainability indicators of the demands, a reallocation of the future water resources will be necessary. The agrarian demands are the ones that show the greatest future problems.

We concluded that our proposed approach is a useful tool to assess the impacts of climate change in water resources and to compare the state of a basin in different scenarios, not only in Guadiana river but also in other river basins.

The authors thank the Spanish Research Agency (MINECO) for the financial support to ERAS project (CTM2016-77804-P, including EU-FEDER funds).