The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers : How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes

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The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers : How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes. / Hoang, Long P.; van Vliet, Michelle T.H.; Kummu, Matti; Lauri, Hannu; Koponen, Jorma; Supit, Iwan; Leemans, Rik; Kabat, Pavel; Ludwig, Fulco.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 649, 01.02.2019, p. 601-609.

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Hoang, Long P. ; van Vliet, Michelle T.H. ; Kummu, Matti ; Lauri, Hannu ; Koponen, Jorma ; Supit, Iwan ; Leemans, Rik ; Kabat, Pavel ; Ludwig, Fulco. / The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers : How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 649. pp. 601-609.

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@article{1a7a8c75d03e4fa0b79e0b585138ce44,
title = "The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers : How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes",
abstract = "The river flow regime and water resources are highly important for economic growths, flood security, and ecosystem dynamics in the Mekong basin - an important transboundary river basin in South East Asia. The river flow, although remains relatively unregulated, is expected to be increasingly perturbed by climate change and rapidly accelerating socioeconomic developments. Current understanding about hydrological changes under the combined impacts of these drivers, however, remains limited. This study presents projected hydrological changes caused by multiple drivers, namely climate change, large-scale hydropower developments, and irrigated land expansions by 2050s. We found that the future flow regime is highly susceptible to all considered drivers, shown by substantial changes in both annual and seasonal flow distribution. While hydropower developments exhibit limited impacts on annual total flows, climate change and irrigation expansions cause changes of +15{\%} and -3{\%} in annual flows, respectively. However, hydropower developments show the largest seasonal impacts characterized by higher dry season flows (up to +70{\%}) and lower wet season flows (-15{\%}). These strong seasonal impacts tend to outplay those of the other drivers, resulting in the overall hydrological change pattern of strong increases of the dry season flow (up to + 160{\%}); flow reduction in the first half of the wet season (up to -25{\%}); and slight flow increase in the second half of the wet season (up to 40{\%}). Furthermore, the cumulative impacts of all drivers cause substantial flow reductions during the early wet season (up to -25{\%} in July), posing challenges for crop production and saltwater intrusion in the downstream Mekong Delta. Substantial flow changes and their consequences require careful considerations of future development activities, as well as timely adaptation to future changes. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "Climate change, Hydrological impacts, Hydropower dams, Irrigation expansion, Mekong basin, VMod model, DELTA, CHANGE IMPACTS, DISCHARGE, RIVER-BASIN, PRECIPITATION, Hydropower darns, FLOOD PULSE, SOUTHEAST-ASIA, TEMPERATURE, TONLE SAP LAKE, PRODUCTIVITY",
author = "Hoang, {Long P.} and {van Vliet}, {Michelle T.H.} and Matti Kummu and Hannu Lauri and Jorma Koponen and Iwan Supit and Rik Leemans and Pavel Kabat and Fulco Ludwig",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.160",
language = "English",
volume = "649",
pages = "601--609",
journal = "Science of the Total Environment",
issn = "0048-9697",
publisher = "Elsevier Science B.V.",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers : How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes

AU - Hoang, Long P.

AU - van Vliet, Michelle T.H.

AU - Kummu, Matti

AU - Lauri, Hannu

AU - Koponen, Jorma

AU - Supit, Iwan

AU - Leemans, Rik

AU - Kabat, Pavel

AU - Ludwig, Fulco

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - The river flow regime and water resources are highly important for economic growths, flood security, and ecosystem dynamics in the Mekong basin - an important transboundary river basin in South East Asia. The river flow, although remains relatively unregulated, is expected to be increasingly perturbed by climate change and rapidly accelerating socioeconomic developments. Current understanding about hydrological changes under the combined impacts of these drivers, however, remains limited. This study presents projected hydrological changes caused by multiple drivers, namely climate change, large-scale hydropower developments, and irrigated land expansions by 2050s. We found that the future flow regime is highly susceptible to all considered drivers, shown by substantial changes in both annual and seasonal flow distribution. While hydropower developments exhibit limited impacts on annual total flows, climate change and irrigation expansions cause changes of +15% and -3% in annual flows, respectively. However, hydropower developments show the largest seasonal impacts characterized by higher dry season flows (up to +70%) and lower wet season flows (-15%). These strong seasonal impacts tend to outplay those of the other drivers, resulting in the overall hydrological change pattern of strong increases of the dry season flow (up to + 160%); flow reduction in the first half of the wet season (up to -25%); and slight flow increase in the second half of the wet season (up to 40%). Furthermore, the cumulative impacts of all drivers cause substantial flow reductions during the early wet season (up to -25% in July), posing challenges for crop production and saltwater intrusion in the downstream Mekong Delta. Substantial flow changes and their consequences require careful considerations of future development activities, as well as timely adaptation to future changes. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - The river flow regime and water resources are highly important for economic growths, flood security, and ecosystem dynamics in the Mekong basin - an important transboundary river basin in South East Asia. The river flow, although remains relatively unregulated, is expected to be increasingly perturbed by climate change and rapidly accelerating socioeconomic developments. Current understanding about hydrological changes under the combined impacts of these drivers, however, remains limited. This study presents projected hydrological changes caused by multiple drivers, namely climate change, large-scale hydropower developments, and irrigated land expansions by 2050s. We found that the future flow regime is highly susceptible to all considered drivers, shown by substantial changes in both annual and seasonal flow distribution. While hydropower developments exhibit limited impacts on annual total flows, climate change and irrigation expansions cause changes of +15% and -3% in annual flows, respectively. However, hydropower developments show the largest seasonal impacts characterized by higher dry season flows (up to +70%) and lower wet season flows (-15%). These strong seasonal impacts tend to outplay those of the other drivers, resulting in the overall hydrological change pattern of strong increases of the dry season flow (up to + 160%); flow reduction in the first half of the wet season (up to -25%); and slight flow increase in the second half of the wet season (up to 40%). Furthermore, the cumulative impacts of all drivers cause substantial flow reductions during the early wet season (up to -25% in July), posing challenges for crop production and saltwater intrusion in the downstream Mekong Delta. Substantial flow changes and their consequences require careful considerations of future development activities, as well as timely adaptation to future changes. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KW - Climate change

KW - Hydrological impacts

KW - Hydropower dams

KW - Irrigation expansion

KW - Mekong basin

KW - VMod model

KW - DELTA

KW - CHANGE IMPACTS

KW - DISCHARGE

KW - RIVER-BASIN

KW - PRECIPITATION

KW - Hydropower darns

KW - FLOOD PULSE

KW - SOUTHEAST-ASIA

KW - TEMPERATURE

KW - TONLE SAP LAKE

KW - PRODUCTIVITY

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054069838&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.160

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.160

M3 - Article

VL - 649

SP - 601

EP - 609

JO - Science of the Total Environment

JF - Science of the Total Environment

SN - 0048-9697

ER -

ID: 28514011