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Universidade de Lisboa (2018)

Impactos das alterações climáticas nos recursos hídricos do Algarve

Morais, Inês Alexandra Roquete

Titre : Impactos das alterações climáticas nos recursos hídricos do Algarve

Auteur : Morais, Inês Alexandra Roquete

Université de soutenance : Universidade de Lisboa

Grade : Mestrado em Ecologia e Gestão Ambiental, 2018

Mediterranean regions are highly vulnerable to climate change, which is expected to lead to lower precipitation and higher temperatures, with consequences for evapotranspiration demands and for the available water to meet them through irrigation. Adapting to climate changes therefore requires changes to how water resources are used, and on the type of crops selected for irrigation, in order to conserve water and maintain a sustainable agriculture. This work presents a study for the Algarve region in southern Portugal. The main objective is to understand how water resources’ supply and demand will (have to) change in a drier future. Therefore, the work focuses on the region’s most important reservoirs and the corresponding irrigation networks, comprising 3 distinct irrigation systems ; irrigated cultures are dominated by citrus orchards, corn, green vegetables and rice. Monthly water balance was calculated using the Thornthwaite Mather sequential approach, which takes into account precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, soil water retention and runoff generation properties, and vegetation water use properties. The model was calibrated for one of the reservoirs and its corresponding irrigation network, and validated for a second reservoir-irrigation system. After the model application to present climatic conditions (1970-2005 climatic normal), future scenarios were simulated in three different periods : 2006-2040, 2041-2070, and 2071-2100. Emission scenarios RCP 4.5 (mid-level) and 8.5 (severe) were taken into account, as simulated by nine regional climate models using EUROCORDEX results, which will take into account both scenario and model uncertainty. The results were used to assess changes to water stress using the Water Exploitation Index, i.e. the rate of water demand over water supply, and to identify the most pressing adaptation needs for water conservation.


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