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Modelling water-harvesting systems in the arid south of Tunisia using SWAT

M Ouessar, A Bruggeman, F Abdelli, RH Mohtar, Donald Gabriëls UGent and Wim Cornelis UGent (2009) HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES. 13(10). p.2003-2021
abstract
In many arid countries, runoff water-harvesting systems support the livelihood of the rural population. Little is known, however, about the effect of these systems on the water balance components of arid watersheds. The objective of this study was to adapt and evaluate the GIS-based watershed model SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) for simulating the main hydrologic processes in arid environments. The model was applied to the 270-km(2) watershed of wadi Koutine in southeast Tunisia, which receives about 200 mm annual rain. The main adjustment for adapting the model to this dry Mediterranean environment was the inclusion of water-harvesting systems, which capture and use surface runoff for crop production in upstream subbasins, and a modification of the crop growth processes. The adjusted version of the model was named SWAT-WH. Model evaluation was performed based on 38 runoff events recorded at the Koutine station between 1973 and 1985. The model predicted that the average annual watershed rainfall of the 12-year evaluation period (209 mm) was split into ET (72%), groundwater recharge (22%) and outflow (6%). The evaluation coefficients for calibration and validation were, respectively, R-2 (coefficient of determination) 0.77 and 0.44; E (Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient) 0.73 and 0.43; and MAE (Mean Absolute Error) 2.6 mm and 3.0 mm, indicating that the model could reproduce the observed events reasonably well. However, the runoff record was dominated by two extreme events, which had a strong effect on the evaluation criteria. Discrepancies remained mainly due to uncertainties in the observed daily rainfall and runoff data. Recommendations for future research include the installation of additional rainfall and runoff gauges with continuous data logging and the collection of more field data to represent the soils and land use. In addition, crop growth and yield monitoring is needed for a proper evaluation of crop production, to allow an economic assessment of the different water uses in the watershed.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
GROUNDWATER RECHARGE, RIVER-BASIN, SIMULATION, HYDROLOGY, RUNOFF, IMPACT
journal title
HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci.
volume
13
issue
10
pages
2003 - 2021
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000271355200020
JCR category
WATER RESOURCES
JCR impact factor
2.462 (2009)
JCR rank
2/64 (2009)
JCR quartile
1 (2009)
ISSN
1027-5606
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
780974
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-780974
alternative location
http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/13/2003/2009/
date created
2009-11-16 10:34:18
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:42:42
@article{780974,
  abstract     = {In many arid countries, runoff water-harvesting systems support the livelihood of the rural population. Little is known, however, about the effect of these systems on the water balance components of arid watersheds. The objective of this study was to adapt and evaluate the GIS-based watershed model SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) for simulating the main hydrologic processes in arid environments. The model was applied to the 270-km(2) watershed of wadi Koutine in southeast Tunisia, which receives about 200 mm annual rain. The main adjustment for adapting the model to this dry Mediterranean environment was the inclusion of water-harvesting systems, which capture and use surface runoff for crop production in upstream subbasins, and a modification of the crop growth processes. The adjusted version of the model was named SWAT-WH. Model evaluation was performed based on 38 runoff events recorded at the Koutine station between 1973 and 1985. The model predicted that the average annual watershed rainfall of the 12-year evaluation period (209 mm) was split into ET (72\%), groundwater recharge (22\%) and outflow (6\%). The evaluation coefficients for calibration and validation were, respectively, R-2 (coefficient of determination) 0.77 and 0.44; E (Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient) 0.73 and 0.43; and MAE (Mean Absolute Error) 2.6 mm and 3.0 mm, indicating that the model could reproduce the observed events reasonably well. However, the runoff record was dominated by two extreme events, which had a strong effect on the evaluation criteria. Discrepancies remained mainly due to uncertainties in the observed daily rainfall and runoff data. Recommendations for future research include the installation of additional rainfall and runoff gauges with continuous data logging and the collection of more field data to represent the soils and land use. In addition, crop growth and yield monitoring is needed for a proper evaluation of crop production, to allow an economic assessment of the different water uses in the watershed.},
  author       = {Ouessar, M and Bruggeman, A and Abdelli, F and Mohtar, RH and Gabri{\"e}ls, Donald and Cornelis, Wim},
  issn         = {1027-5606},
  journal      = {HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES},
  keyword      = {GROUNDWATER RECHARGE,RIVER-BASIN,SIMULATION,HYDROLOGY,RUNOFF,IMPACT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {2003--2021},
  title        = {Modelling water-harvesting systems in the arid south of Tunisia using SWAT},
  url          = {http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/13/2003/2009/},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Ouessar, M, A Bruggeman, F Abdelli, RH Mohtar, Donald Gabriels, and Wim Cornelis. 2009. “Modelling Water-harvesting Systems in the Arid South of Tunisia Using SWAT.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 13 (10): 2003–2021.
APA
Ouessar, M, Bruggeman, A., Abdelli, F., Mohtar, R., Gabriels, D., & Cornelis, W. (2009). Modelling water-harvesting systems in the arid south of Tunisia using SWAT. HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES, 13(10), 2003–2021.
Vancouver
1.
Ouessar M, Bruggeman A, Abdelli F, Mohtar R, Gabriels D, Cornelis W. Modelling water-harvesting systems in the arid south of Tunisia using SWAT. HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES. 2009;13(10):2003–21.
MLA
Ouessar, M, A Bruggeman, F Abdelli, et al. “Modelling Water-harvesting Systems in the Arid South of Tunisia Using SWAT.” HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES 13.10 (2009): 2003–2021. Print.