Impact of basin-wide dry climate conditions and non-climatic drivers: An isolation approach

Furat A.M. Al-Faraj, Miklas Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The sustainable management of water resources subjected to the joined influence of transboundary basin-wide dry climatic conditions and intensive man-made river regulations in an upper riparian state on the stream flow regime of a downstream country is a serious challenge. This is particularly the case for arid and semi-arid regions where water resources are limited. The Diyala river basin, shared between Iraq and Iran, was used as an example. The study aims to develop a generic approach to isolate the relative effect of upstream man-made interventions from the mutual impacts of basin-wide dry climate environments and upstream human-induced pressures. The proposed method supports water managers in unbiased, timely and spatially relevant decision-making processes. The streamflow drought index and the monthly-based truncation level were utilized to characterize hydrological droughts, while the standardized precipitation index was used for meteorological drought interpretations. Findings revealed that the upstream river regulation schemes noticeably led to a decline in water availability of the downstream country. The relative impact ranged from a minimum value of 5% in February to the highest value of 54% in July. The average proportional impacts between April and October and between November and March were about 46% and 17%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-513
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Water and Climate Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Decision-making
  • Drought index
  • Human-induced intervention
  • Shared river basin
  • Water resources management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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