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Hydrological Modeling of Upper OumErRabia Basin (Morocco), Comparative Study of the Event-Based and Continuous-Process HEC-HMS Model Methods

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Document pages: 26 pages

Abstract: Human population growth and land-use changes raise demandand competition for water resources. The Upper OumErRabia River Basin isexperiencing high rangeland and matorral conversion to irrigated agriculturalland expansion. Given Morocco’s per capita water availability, River-basinhydrologic modelling could potentiallybring together agricultural, water resources and conservation objectives. However, not everywhere have hydrological modelsconsidered events and continuous assessment of climatic data. In this study,HEC-HMS modelling approach is used to explorethe event-based and continuous-process simulation of land-use and land cover change (LULCC) impact on waterbalance. The use of HEC-GeoHMS facilitated the digital data processing forcoupling with the model. The basin’s physical characteristics and thehydro-climatic data helped to generate a geospatial database for HEC-HMS model. We analyzed baseline and futurescenario changes for the 1980-2016 period using the SCS Curve-Number and theSoil Moisture Accounting (SMA) loss methods. SMA was coupled with theHargreaves evapotranspiration method. Model calibration focused on reproducingobserved basin runoff hydrograph. To evaluate the model performance for bothcalibration and validation, the Coefficient of determination (R2), Nash-Sutcliffeefficiency (NSE), Root Mean Square Error (RSR) and Percent Bias (PBIAS) criteria were exploited. The average calibration NSEvalues were 0.740and 0.585 for event-based (daily) and continuous-process (annual) respectively.The R2, RSR and PBIAS valueswere 0.624, 0.634 and +16.7 respectively.This is rated as good performance besides the validation simulations were satisfactory for subsequent hydrologicanalyses. We conclude that the basin’s hydrologic response to positive andnegative LULCC scenarios is significant both positive and negative scenarios. The study findings provide useful informationfor key stakeholders decision-makers in water resources.

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