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Wageningen University (2017)

Preserving Urmia Lake in a changing world : reconciling anthropogenic and climate drivers by hydrological modelling and policy assessment

Somayeh Shadkam

Titre : Preserving Urmia Lake in a changing world : reconciling anthropogenic and climate drivers by hydrological modelling and policy assessment

Auteur : Somayeh Shadkam

Université de soutenance  : Wageningen University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2017

Résumé partiel
Urmia Lake, in north-western Iran, is an important internationally recognized natural area designated as a RAMSAR site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Over the last 20 years, the surface area of Urmia Lake has declined by 80%. As a result, the salinity of the lake has sharply increased which is disturbing the ecosystems, local agriculture and livelihoods, regional health, as well as tourism, which could amplify economic, political and ethnic tensions in this already volatile region. In response to that, Iranian government established the ten-year “Urmia Lake Restoration Program (ULRP)” proposing six approaches in terms of controlling, protecting, surveying, studying and supplying water from other sources. This study first assessed the main reasons for the decreased inflow using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model, including reservoirs and irrigation modules. The results showed that climate change was the main contributor to this inflow reduction. However, water resources development, particularly water use for irrigation, has played a substantial role as well. In the second step assessed Urmia lake inflow under future climate change and irrigation scenarios. Then, the (VIC) model was forced with bias-corrected climate model outputs for both the lowest (RCP2.6) and highest (RCP8.5) greenhouse-gas concentration scenarios to estimate future water availability. The results showed that the water resources plans are not robust to changes in climate. In other words, if future climate change is limited due to rapid mitigation measures (RCP2.6) the new strategy of reduction of irrigation water use can contribute to preserve Urmia Lake

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Page publiée le 10 juin 2021