Temporal Hydrologic Alterations Coupled with Climate Variability and Drought for Transboundary River Basins

Ruqayah Mohammed, Miklas Scholz, Mohammad Zounemat-Kermani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change (CC) and drought episode impacts linked with anthropogenic pressure have become an increasing concern for policy makers and water resources managers. The current research presents a comprehensive methodology but simple approach for predicting the annual streamflow alteration based on drought indices and hydrological alteration indicators. This has been achieved depending on the evaluation of drought severity and CC impacts during the human intervention periods to separate the influence of climatic abnormality and measure the hydrologic deviations as a result of streamflow regulation configurations. As a representative case study, the Lesser Zab River Basin in northern Iraq has been chosen. In order to analyse the natural flow regime, 34 hydrological years of streamflow (1931–1965) prior to the main dam construction were assessed. The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) method has been applied to quantify the hydrological alterations of various flow characteristics. In addition, an easy approach for hydrological drought prediction in relatively small basins grounded on meteorological parameters during the early months of the hydrological year has been presented. The prediction was accomplished by implementing the one-dimensional drought examination and the reconnaissance drought index (RDI) for evaluating the severity of meteorological drought. The proposed methodology is founded on linear regression relations connecting the RDI of 3, 6, and 12 months and the streamflow drought index (SDI). The results are critical for circumstances where an early exploration of meteorological drought is obtainable. Outcomes assist water resources managers, engineers, policy makers and decision-makers responsible for mitigating the effects of CC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1502
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Decision-making
  • Hydrological alteration indicator
  • Reconnaissance drought index
  • Streamflow drought index
  • Water resources management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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