Unravelling climate and anthropogenic forcings on the evolution of surface water resources in southern france

Camille Labrousse, Wolfgang Ludwig, Sébastien Pinel, Mahrez Sadaoui, Guillaume Lacquement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Mediterranean, climate change and human pressures are expected to significantly impact the availability of surface water resources. In order to quantify these impacts during the last 60 years (1959–2018), we examined the hydro-climatic and land use change evolution in six coastal river basins of the Gulf of Lion in southern France. By combining observed water discharge, gridded climate, mapped land use and agricultural censuses data, we propose a statistical regression model which successfully reproduces the variability of annual water discharge in all basins. Our results clearly demonstrate that, despite important anthropogenic water withdrawals for irrigation, climate change is the major driver for the detected reduction of water discharge. The model can explain 78–88% of the variability of annual water discharge in the study catchments. It requires only two climatic indices that are solely computed from monthly temperature (T) and precipitation (P) data, thus allowing the estimation of the respective contributions of both parameters in the detected changes. According to our results, the study region experienced on average a warming trend of 1.6 C during the last 60 years which alone was responsible for a reduction of almost 25% of surface water resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3581
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic pressure
  • Climate change
  • Statistical modeling
  • Surface water resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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