Model-Based Assessment of Climate Change Impact on Isaac River Catchment, QueenslandReport as inadecuate

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Isaac River catchment, which is located within Fitzroy basin in Central Queensland, Australia is mostly a semi-arid region, sparsely populated, but rife with economic activities such as mining, grazing, cropping and production forestry. Hydro-meteorological data over the past several decades reveal that the catchment is experiencing increasing variability in precipitation and streamflow contributing to more severe droughts and floods supposedly due to climate change. The exposure of the economic activities in the catchment to the vagaries of nature and the possible impacts of climate change on the stream flow regime are to be analyzed. For the purpose, SWAT model was adopted to capture the dynamics of the catchment. During calibration of the model 12 parameters were found to be significant which yielded a R2 value of 0.73 for calibration and 0.66 for validation. In the next stage, six GCMs from CMIP3 namely, CGCM3.1-T47, CNRM-CM3, GFDL-CM2.1, IPSLCM4, MIROC3.2 medres and MRI CGCM2.3.2 were selected for climate change projections in the Fitzroy basin under a very high emissions scenario A2, a medium emissions scenario A1B and a low emissions scenario B1 for two future periods 2046-2064 and 2080-2100. All GCMs showed consistent increases in temperature, and as expected, highest rate for A2 and lowest rate for B1. Precipitation predictions were mixed-reductions in A2 and increases in A1B and B1, and more variations in distant future compared to near future. When the projected temperatures and precipitation were inputted into the SWAT model, and the model outputs were compared with the baseline period 1980-2010, the picture that emerged depicted worsening water resources variability.


Climate Change, Isaac River, SWAT Model, Water Resources

Cite this paper

Abbas, N. , Wasimi, S. and Al-Ansari, N. 2016 Model-Based Assessment of Climate Change Impact on Isaac River Catchment, Queensland. Engineering, 8, 460-470. doi: 10.4236-eng.2016.87043.

Author: Nahlah Abbas1, Saleh A. Wasimi1, Nadhir Al-Ansari2



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