Impact of warming climate on water management for the Ariège River basin (France)

Hendrickx, F. ; Sauquet, E.

Type de document
Article de revue scientifique à comité de lecture
Affiliation de l'auteur
Résumé / Abstract
The French national project IMAGINE2030 aims to assess future water availability in the Garonne River basin (southwest France) by taking account of changes in both climate and water management in the 2030s.Within this project, two mountainous drainage basins located in the Pyrenees were examined to assess the specific impact of climate change on reservoir management. The Salat River basin at Roquefort, is considered as a proxy (representative of a natural basin), whereas the Ariège River at Foix is influenced by hydropower production in winter and by water releases to sustain low flows in summer. The Cequeau rainfall–runoff model, combined with a simplified model of reservoir management operations, was calibrated on present-day conditions and forced with climate projections derived from the IPCC AR4 report. The results show that a warming climate over the basins induces a decrease in mean annual runoff, a shift to earlier snow melting in mountainous areas and more severe low-flow conditions. The simulations show a decrease in electricity generation. Under two water management scenarios (one 'business-as-usual' and the other incorporating an increased downstream water demand in compliance with requirements for increased minimum flow), simulations for the Ariège River basin suggest an earlier filling of the reservoir is necessary in winter to anticipate the increased release from reservoirs in summer to support minimum flow farther downstream.
Hydrological Sciences Journal-Journal des Sciences Hydrologiques, vol. 58, num. 5, p. 976 - 993

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