Socio-Economic Impact of Evaporation Losses from Reservoirs Under Past, Current and Future Water Availability Scenarios in the Semi-Arid Segura Basin

Journal ar
Water Resources Management
  • Volumen: 27
  • Número: 5
  • Fecha: 07 January 2013
  • Páginas: 1411-1426
  • ISSN: 09204741
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11269-012-0245-4
  • Document Type: Article
This study assesses evaporation losses from water reservoirs in the semi-arid Segura basin (south-east Spain), one of the most water stressed European catchments. These losses are evaluated from both the hydrologic and economic perspectives under different water availability scenarios that are based on water policy trends and climate change predictions. We take a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis, combining energy balance models to assess the effect of climate change on evaporation from water bodies, Class-A pan data and pan coefficients to determine evaporation loss on a regional scale, and non-linear mathematical programming modelling to simulate the economic impact of water use and allocation in the basin. Our results indicate that water availability could be reduced by up to 40 % in the worst-case scenario, with an economic impact in the 32-36 % range, depending on the indicator in question. The total annual evaporation loss from reservoirs ranges from 6. 5 % to 11. 7 % of the water resources available for irrigation in the basin, where evaporation from small reservoirs is more than twice that from large dams. The economic impact of such losses increases with water scarcity, ranging from 4. 3 % to 12. 3 % of the value of agricultural production, 4. 0 % to 12. 0 % of net margin, 5. 8 % to 10. 7 % of the irrigated area, and 5. 4 % to 13. 5 % of agricultural employment. Results illustrate the importance of evaporation losses from reservoirs in this region and the marked upward trend for future scenarios. Besides, they highlight the extent of the impact of climate change on future water resources availability and use in southern Europe. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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