Model-based Climate Change Impact Assessment on Water Resources of Kurdistan, Iraq

Nahlah A Abbas and Saleh A Wasimi


Climate change effects, Water resources, Lesser Zab, SWAT model


Kurdistan in northern Iraq, a semi-arid region, predominantly a pastureland, is sustained by Lesser Zab, which is a major tributary of Tigris River. The discharge in the tributary, in recent years, has been experiencing increasing variability contributing to more severe droughts and floods which could be due to climate change. For a proper assessment, SWAT model has been used to capture the impact of climate change on its hydrological components for about half-a-century lead time to 2046-2064 and about one-century lead time to 2080-2100. The suitability of the model was first evaluated, and then, outputs from six GCMs were incorporated to evaluate the impacts of climate change on water resources under three emission scenarios: A1B, A2 and B1. The results showed worsening water resources regime.

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