Year of publication
- 2008 (7) (remove)
- Global-scale modeling of groundwater recharge (2008)
- Long-term average groundwater recharge, which is equivalent to renewable groundwater resources, is the major limiting factor for the sustainable use of groundwater. Compared to surface water resources, groundwater resources are more protected from pollution, and their use is less restricted by seasonal and inter-annual flow variations. To support water management in a globalized world, it is necessary to estimate groundwater recharge at the global scale. Here, we present a best estimate of global-scale long-term average diffuse groundwater recharge (i.e. renewable groundwater resources) that has been calculated by the most recent version of the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model WGHM (spatial resolution of 0.5° by 0.5°, daily time steps). The estimate was obtained using two state-of-the-art global data sets of gridded observed precipitation that we corrected for measurement errors, which also allowed to quantify the uncertainty due to these equally uncertain data sets. The standard WGHM groundwater recharge algorithm was modified for semi-arid and arid regions, based on independent estimates of diffuse groundwater recharge, which lead to an unbiased estimation of groundwater recharge in these regions. WGHM was tuned against observed long-term average river discharge at 1235 gauging stations by adjusting, individually for each basin, the partitioning of precipitation into evapotranspiration and total runoff. We estimate that global groundwater recharge was 12 666 km3/yr for the climate normal 1961–1990, i.e. 32% of total renewable water resources. In semi-arid and arid regions, mountainous regions, permafrost regions and in the Asian Monsoon region, groundwater recharge accounts for a lower fraction of total runoff, which makes these regions particularly vulnerable to seasonal and inter-annual precipitation variability and water pollution. Average per-capita renewable groundwater resources of countries vary between 8 m3/(capita yr) for Egypt to more than 1 million m3/(capita yr) for the Falkland Islands, the global average in the year 2000 being 2091 m3/(capita yr). Regarding the uncertainty of estimated groundwater resources due to the two precipitation data sets, deviation from the mean is 1.1% for the global value, and less than 1% for 50 out of the 165 countries considered, between 1 and 5% for 62, between 5 and 20% for 43 and between 20 and 80% for 10 countries. Deviations at the grid scale can be much larger, ranging between 0 and 186 mm/yr.
- Value of river discharge data for global-scale hydrological modeling (2008)
- This paper investigates the value of observed river discharge data for global-scale hydrological modeling of a number of flow characteristics that are e.g. required for assessing water resources, flood risk and habitat alteration of aquatic ecosystems. An improved version of the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model (WGHM) was tuned against measured discharge using either the 724-station dataset (V1) against which former model versions were tuned or an extended dataset (V2) of 1235 stations. WGHM is tuned by adjusting one model parameter (γ) that affects runoff generation from land areas in order to fit simulated and observed long-term average discharge at tuning stations. In basins where γ does not suffice to tune the model, two correction factors are applied successively: the areal correction factor corrects local runoff in a basin and the station correction factor adjusts discharge directly the gauge. Using station correction is unfavorable, as it makes discharge discontinuous at the gauge and inconsistent with runoff in the upstream basin. The study results are as follows. (1) Comparing V2 to V1, the global land area covered by tuning basins increases by 5% and the area where the model can be tuned by only adjusting γ increases by 8%. However, the area where a station correction factor (and not only an areal correction factor) has to be applied more than doubles. (2) The value of additional discharge information for representing the spatial distribution of long-term average discharge (and thus renewable water resources) with WGHM is high, particularly for river basins outside of the V1 tuning area and in regions where the refined dataset provides a significant subdivision of formerly extended tuning basins (average V2 basin size less than half the V1 basin size). If the additional discharge information were not used for tuning, simulated long-term average discharge would differ from the observed one by a factor of, on average, 1.8 in the formerly untuned basins and 1.3 in the subdivided basins. The benefits tend to be higher in semi-arid and snow-dominated regions where the model is less reliable than in humid areas and refined tuning compensates for uncertainties with regard to climate input data and for specific processes of the water cycle that cannot be represented yet by WGHM. Regarding other flow characteristics like low flow, inter-annual variability and seasonality, the deviation between simulated and observed values also decreases significantly, which, however, is mainly due to the better representation of average discharge but not of variability. (3) The choice of the optimal sub-basin size for tuning depends on the modeling purpose. While basins over 60 000 km2 are performing best, improvements in V2 model performance are strongest in small basins between 9000 and 20 000 km2, which is primarily related to a low level of V1 performance. Increasing the density of tuning stations provides a better spatial representation of discharge, but it also decreases model consistency, as almost half of the basins below 20 000 km2 require station correction.
- Assessment of ecologically relevant hydrological change in China due to water use and reservoirs (2008)
- As China’s economy booms, increasing water use has significantly affected hydro-geomorphic processes and thus the ecology of surface waters. A large variety of hydrological changes arising from human activities such as reservoir construction and management, water abstraction, water diversion and agricultural land expansion have been sustained throughout China. Using the global scale hydrological and water use model WaterGAP, natural and anthropogenically altered flow conditions are calculated, taking into account flow alterations due to human water consumption and 580 large reservoirs. The impacts resulting from water consumption and reservoirs have been analyzed separately. A modified “Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration” approach is used to describe the human pressures on aquatic ecosystems due to anthropogenic alterations in river flow regimes. The changes in long-term average river discharge, average monthly mean discharge and coefficients of variation of monthly river discharges under natural and impacted conditions are compared and analyzed. The indicators show very significant alterations of natural river flow regimes in a large part of northern China and only minor alterations in most of southern China. The detected large alterations in long-term average river discharge, the seasonality of flows and the inter-annual variability in the northern half of China are very likely to have caused significant ecological impacts.
- The Global Crop Water Model (GCWM) : documentation and first results for irrigated crops (2008)
- A new global crop water model was developed to compute blue (irrigation) water requirements and crop evapotranspiration from green (precipitation) water at a spatial resolution of 5 arc minutes by 5 arc minutes for 26 different crop classes. The model is based on soil water balances performed for each crop and each grid cell. For the first time a new global data set was applied consisting of monthly growing areas of irrigated crops and related cropping calendars. Crop water use was computed for irrigated land and the period 1998 – 2002. In this documentation report the data sets used as model input and methods used in the model calculations are described, followed by a presentation of the first results for blue and green water use at the global scale, for countries and specific crops. Additionally the simulated seasonal distribution of water use on irrigated land is presented. The computed model results are compared to census based statistical information on irrigation water use and to results of another crop water model developed at FAO.
- Global dataset of monthly growing areas of 26 irrigated crops : version 1.0 (2008)
- A data set of monthly growing areas of 26 irrigated crops (MGAG-I) and related crop calendars (CC-I) was compiled for 402 spatial entities. The selection of the crops consisted of all major food crops including regionally important ones (wheat, rice, maize, barley, rye, millet, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower, potatoes, cassava, sugar cane, sugar beets, oil palm, rapeseed/canola, groundnuts/peanuts, pulses, citrus, date palm, grapes/vine, cocoa, coffee), major water-consuming crops (cotton), and unspecified other crops (other perennial crops, other annual crops, managed grassland). The data set refers to the time period 1998-2002 and has a spatial resolution of 5 arc minutes by 5 arc minutes which is 8 km by 8 km at the equator. This is the first time that a data set of cell-specific irrigated growing areas of irrigated crops with this spatial resolution was created. The data set is consistent to the irrigated area and water use statistics of the AQUASTAT programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (http://www.fao.org/ag/agl/aglw/aquastat/main/index.stm) and the Global Map of Irrigation Areas (GMIA) (http://www.fao.org/ag/agl/aglw/aquastat/irrigationmap/index.stm). At the cell-level it was tried to maximise consistency to the cropland extent and cropland harvested area from the Department of Geography and Earth System Science Program of the McGill University at Montreal, Quebec, Canada and the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA (http://www.geog.mcgill.ca/~nramankutty/ Datasets/Datasets.html and http://geomatics.geog.mcgill.ca/~navin/pub/Data/175crops2000/). The consistency between the grid product and the input data was quantified. MGAG-I and CC-I are fully consistent to each other on entity level. For input data other than CC-I, the consistency of MGAG-I on cell level was calculated. The consistency of MGAG-I with respect to the area equipped for irrigation (AEI) of GMIA and to the cropland extent of SAGE was characterised by the sum of the cell-specific maximum difference between the MGAG-I monthly total irrigated area and the reference area when the latter was exceeded in the grid cell. The consistency of the harvested area contained in MGAG-I with respect to SAGE harvested area was characterised by the crop-specific sum of the cell-specific difference between MGAG-I harvested area and the SAGE harvested area when the latter was exceeded in the grid cell. In all three cases, the sums are the excess areas that should not have been distributed under the assumption that the input data were correct. Globally, this cell-level excess of MGAG-I as compared to AEI is 331,304 ha or only about 0.12 % of the global AEI of 278.9 Mha found in the original grid. The respective cell-level excess of MGAG-I as compared to the SAGE cropland extent is 32.2 Mha, corresponding to about 2.2 % of the total cropland area. The respective cell-level excess of MGAG-I as compared to the SAGE harvested area is 27 % of the irrigated harvested area, or 11.5 % of the AEI. In a further step that will be published later also rainfed areas were compiled in order to form the Global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000). The data set can be used for global and continental-scale studies on food security and water use. In the future, it will be improved, e.g. with a better spatial resolution of crop calendars and an improved crop distribution algorithm. The MIRCA2000 data set, its full documentation together with future updates will be freely available through the following long-term internet site: http://www.geo.uni-frankfurt.de/ipg/ag/dl/forschung/MIRCA/index.html. The research presented here was funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) within the framework of the research project entitled "Consistent assessment of global green, blue and virtual water fluxes in the context of food production: regional stresses and worldwide teleconnections". The authors thank Navin Ramankutty and Chad Monfreda for making available the current SAGE datasets on cropland extent (Ramankutty et al., 2008) and harvested area (Monfreda et al., 2008) prior to their publication.
- Advances and visions in large-scale hydrological modelling : findings from the 11th Workshop on Large-Scale Hydrological Modelling (2008)
- Large-scale hydrological modelling has become increasingly wide-spread during the last decade. An annual workshop series on large-scale hydrological modelling has provided, since 1997, a forum to the German-speaking community for discussing recent developments and achievements in this research area. In this paper we present the findings from the 2007 workshop which focused on advances and visions in large-scale hydrological modelling. We identify the state of the art, difficulties and research perspectives with respect to the themes "sensitivity of model results", "integrated modelling" and "coupling of processes in hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere". Some achievements in large-scale hydrological modelling during the last ten years are presented together with a selection of remaining challenges for the future.
- Wasser weltweit : wie groß sind die globalen Süßwasserressourcen, und wie nutzt sie der Mensch? (2008)
- Ohne Wasser kein Leben – die ersten organischen Moleküle entwickelten sich im Wasser, aus Wasser plus Kohlenstoff und Stickstoff, und auch heute brauchen Pflanzen, Tiere und Menschen viel Wasser, um zu überleben. Die Erde ist der einzige Planet mit flüssigem Wasser und der einzige Planet, auf dem es Leben gibt, zumindest in unserem Sonnensystem. Zwei Umstände bewirken gemeinsam, dass nur die Erde die richtige Temperatur für flüssiges Wasser an ihrer Oberfl äche hat: ihr Abstand zur Sonne und ihre Masse. Aufgrund ihrer ausreichend großen Masse kann sie eine Atmosphäre halten, die die mittlere Oberflächentemperatur von –18 °C auf +15 °C erhöht. Nur daher konnte sich im Frühstadium der Erdentstehung das Wasser, das in großen Mengen aus dem Erdinnern ausgaste, an der Oberfläche als flüssiges Wasser in den Ozeanen sammeln.