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Title (Primary) Hydroclimatic and water quality trends across three Mediterranean river basins
Author Lutz, S.R.; Mallucci, S.; Diamantini, E.; Majone, B.; Bellin, A.; Merz, R.;
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Year 2016
Department CATHYD;
Volume 571
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T34;
Keywords Mediterranean river basins; Streamflow; Hydroclimatic trends; Water scarcity; Mann-Kendall trend analysis; Nitrate pollution trends
UFZ wide themes RU2;
Abstract Water resources are under pressure from multiple anthropogenic stressors such as changing climate, agriculture and water abstraction. This holds, in particular, for the Mediterranean region, where substantial changes in climate are expected throughout the 21st century. Nonetheless, little attention has been paid to linkages between long-term trends in climate, streamflow and water quality in Mediterranean river basins. In the present study, we perform a comparative analysis of recent trends in hydroclimatic parameters and nitrate pollution in three climatologically different Mediterranean watersheds (i.e., the Adige, Ebro and Sava River Basins). Mann-Kendall trend analyses of annual mean temperature, precipitation and streamflow (period 1971 to 2010) and monthly nitrate concentrations, mass fluxes and flow-adjusted concentrations (period 1996 to 2012) were performed in these river basins. Temperature is shown to have increased the most in the Ebro followed by the Sava, whereas minor increases are observed in the Adige. Precipitation presents, overall, a negative trend in the Ebro and a positive trend in both the Adige and Sava. These climatic trends thus suggest the highest risk of increasing water scarcity for the Ebro and the lowest risk for the Adige. This is confirmed by trend analyses of streamflow time series, which indicate a severe decline in streamflow for the Ebro and a substantial decline in the Sava, as opposed to the Adige showing no prevailing trend. Concerning surface water quality, nitrate pollution appears to have decreased in all study basins. Overall, these findings emphasize progressive reduction of water resources availability in river basins characterized by continental climate (i.e., Ebro and Sava). This study thus underlines the need for adapted river management in the Mediterranean region, particularly considering strong feedbacks between hydroclimatic trends, freshwater ecosystem services and water resources availability for agriculture, water supply and hydropower generation.
ID 17927
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Lutz, S.R., Mallucci, S., Diamantini, E., Majone, B., Bellin, A., Merz, R. (2016):
Hydroclimatic and water quality trends across three Mediterranean river basins
Sci. Total Environ. 571 , 1392 - 1406