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Water shortages in Pakistan are among the most severe in the world, and its water resources are decreasing significantly due to the prevailing hydro-meteorological conditions. We assessed variations in meteorological and hydrological variables using innovative trend analysis (ITA) and traditional trend analysis methods at a practical significance level, which is also of practical interest. We developed threshold levels of hydrological variables and developed a non-parametric climate-sensitivity model of the high-altitude catchment of the western Himalayas. The runoff of Zone I decreased, while the temperature increased and the precipitation increased significantly. In Zone II, the runoff and temperature increased but the precipitation decreased. A two-dimensional visualization of the Pardé coefficient showed extreme drought events, and indicated greater sensitivity of the hydrological regime to temperature than to precipitation. The threshold levels of runoff for Zones I and II were 320 and 363 mm using the Q80 fixed method, while the mean runoff amounts were estimated to be 79.95 and 55.61 mm, respectively. The transient threshold levels varied by month, and the duration of droughts in Zones I and II ranged from 26.39 to 78.98 days. The sensitivity of the hydrological regime was estimated based on a modified climate-elasticity model (εp = 0.11–0.23, εt = −0.04–2.39) for Zones I and II, respectively. These results highlight the sensitivity of the hydrological regime to temperature, which influences the melting process. However, it is important to establish thresholds for hydrological variables and understand the climate sensitivity of the hydrological regime of the entire basin, so that policy makers and water managers can make sustainable water-resource-management decisions for this region.
Drought severity; Drought duration; Precipitation sensitivity; Temperature sensitivity; Climate change
Environmental Engineering | Hydraulic Engineering
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Tahir, A. A.,
Development of Threshold Levels and a Climate-Sensitivity Model of the Hydrological Regime of the High-Altitude Catchment of the Western Himalayas, Pakistan.