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Climate change is defined as the sudden, severe, and significant changes occurring in the long term weather events. Climate change is experienced more intensively today due to increase in the anthropogenic activities. The aim of the Climate Changes Impact on Water Resources Project is to identify the impact of climate change scenarios on the surface and ground waters and to determine adaptation activities in the basins of Turkey.

Depending on the increase in the temperatures, hydrological cycle changes, melting of land and sea glaciers, spatial narrowing of snow and ice cover, sea level rise, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather event, drought and desertification, requires the communities to develop long-term strategies in the field of hydrology and water management. This project designated all of the effects of climate change on water resources in basins of Turkey and paved the way for long-term measures. The studies are carried out for 25 river basins incorporating whole Turkey and projection period covers the years between 2015-2100.

Climate Changes Impact on Water Resources Project aims to identify the impact of climate change scenarios on the surface and ground waters and to determine adaptation activities. Project application area is the 25 river basins incorporating whole Turkey and study period covers 2015-2100.

Content of the project is:

  • Preparation of climate change projections for all basins according to 3 global climate models with RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios. Temperature, precipitation, evaporation and flow projections are being constituted with the model outputs for each basins.
  • A hydrological model is run with climate projections’ outputs and surface water flow is determined in basins. With the help of hydrological modelling approach, precipitation values are converted into flow values. In the next step, surface water budget is determined along significant water reaches and side reaches. Also, ground water budget amounts were determined according to ground water data and climate projections’ results for each basins.
  • A hydraulic model is run with the outputs of hydrological model and flow data are converted into water levels along significant water reaches and side reaches.
  • Modelling studies were carried out in order to determine water budget in all basins by considering climate change impact on hydrometeorological data.
  • Sector analysis (for the main sectors of drinking water, agriculture,industry, ecosystem) of climate change was carried out with respect to water resources in 3 basins.
  • Climate-Water Database was constituted in order to store all produced data and outputs of the Project.

Project Methodology



AIM of The Project And Basic Information

The work items of the Project is explained in detail below.

Climate Change Projections
Climate change projections covers 2015-2100 time period. Also, 1961-2000 time period is chosen as comparison period. According to the data availability, 30 years of the comparison period is considered as the reference period. Comparisons are being carried out for each 10 years periods.


A regional climate model that will be the output of minimum three global models selected from the archives of CMIP5 based on the 5th Evaluation Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), were operated with RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 emission scenarios, for all Turkey. The global climate models considered in the scope of the Project are;

  • HadGEM2-ES
  • CNRM-CM5.1

The model outputs are temperature, precipitation, evaporation and flow projections at the basins scale with 10x10 km resolution.

Hydrologic and Hydraulic Projections:
Hydrologic and hydraulic models, using the climate projections were used to determine how climate change affected surface and ground water resources. Hydrologic modelling approach served to convert the precipitation to flow, hydraulic modelling approach provided the water levels of the principal river system long and of the side streams using the flow values. Groundwater potential was estimated following the hydro-meteorological studies. All models were run with the last 40 years’ data and projections cover 2015-2100 time period.

SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool I) Model was used for hydrological modelling. In order to support hydrological model and include lakes, ponds, and reservoirs to hydrological modelling study WEAP (Water Evaluation and Planning System) model was used.

HEC-RAS (Hydrologic Engineering Centers River Analysis System) model was used for hydraulic modelling in order to determine flowrate-water level relation and extreme flows.

Aquifer environments were identified in terms of geology and hydrogeology. Groundwater level observations, properties like present and planned well information were evaluated at basin level and available groundwater potential was determined in the basins.

Water Potential Modelling Study
Water potential modelling/estimation study was conducted considering the current and predicted status for the projected periods of surface and groundwater resources in all basins. The studies were carried out for 2015-2100 projection period. Possible water deficit was calculated by considering regional population increment and investment plans (establishment of OIZs etc.) in each basins.

Sectoral Impact Analysis of Water Resources
The impact of water on four main sectors (drinking and potable water, agriculture, industry, ecosystem main sectors) were analysed considering the status after climate projections in 3 basins. In order to determine affecting levels of main sectors, an evaluation systematic was constituted. The systematic gave results for impact intensity of for each basins and sectors. A numerical grading system or a linguistic grading system such as “low impact, medium impact or high impact” was used for this purpose.

Adaption Activities
Adaptation activities like rain water harvesting, water prizing, closed irrigation systems etc., were developed regarding all basins, for the mitigation of the negative impacts of climate change on water resources. Minimum 30 adaptation activities were investigated in total and each adaptation activity was evaluated for criteria like sectors of application, application cost predictions, global wide-spread use, disadvantages, problems that can be faced during application, good application practices etc.

Climate-Water Database

GIS based Climate-Water Database is being constituted in order to store and query all the produced data in the scope of the Project such as climate projections, hydrological projections etc.

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