CISL Brown Bag - "Modeling the Hydroclimatic Effects of Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Upper Euphrates and Tigris Basin Under a Changing Climate"

07/10/2018 - 12:00pm
ML Damon Room

"Modeling the Hydroclimatic Effects of Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Upper Euphrates and Tigris Basin Under a Changing Climate"

Yeliz Yilmaz

Istanbul Technical University, Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences

The Southeastern Anatolia Project, abbreviated in Turkish as GAP, is the largest regional development project carried out by Turkey within the boundaries of the Euphrates and Tigris Basin (ETB). The ETB represents a potential breadbasket for the Middle East, an arid and semi-arid region where food production is mostly dependent on irrigation. GAP includes such investments as irrigation schemes and construction of major dams. At the current stage of GAP, 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power plants have been constructed, and one fourth of the planned irrigation projects are complete. In the future, approximately 1.8 million hectares of total area will be irrigated. Since the beginning of 90s, the applied irrigation plans have already caused massive land use and land cover (LULC) changes in the region.

A regional climate model was employed to simulate the individual and combined effects of irrigation induced local LULC change and anthropogenic climate change (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios). Our study represents a comprehensive analysis to evaluate the effects of irrigation on the regional water budget and energy balance under a changing climate. The dramatically increasing water demand of the semi-arid irrigated region is currently barely compensated by the headwaters of the ETB. The water dispute in the ETB among the riparian countries is a long-standing complex issue of transboundary water sharing. The water loss through the increased evapotranspiration may play a crucial role in shaping the future of water resources management and policies in this region.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Mesa Lab, Damon Room
(Bring your lunch!)