Assessing drought threats to agricultural water supplies under climate change by combining the SWAT and MODSIM models for the Geum River basin, South Korea Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2016 IAHS. The impacts of future climate change on the agricultural water supply capacities of irrigation facilities in the Geum River basin (9645.5 km2) of South Korea were investigated using an integrated modeling framework that included a water balance network model (MODSIM) and a watershed-scale hydrologic model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool, SWAT). The discharges and baseflows from upland drainage areas were estimated using SWAT, and the predicted flow was used to feed agricultural reservoirs and multipurpose dams in subwatersheds. Using a split sampling method, we calibrated the daily streamflows and dam inflows at three locations using data from 6 years, including 3 years of calibration data (2005–2007) followed by 3 years of validation data (2008–2010). In the MODSIM model, the entire basin was divided into 14 subwatersheds in which various agricultural irrigation facilities such as agricultural reservoirs, pumping stations, diversions, culverts and groundwater wells were defined as a network of hydraulic structures within each subwatershed. These hydraulic networks between subwatersheds were inter-connected to allow watershed-scale analysis and were further connected to municipal and industrial water supplies under various hydrologic conditions. Projected climate data from the HadGEM3-RA RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios for the period of 2006–2099 were imported to SWAT to calculate the water yield, and the output was transferred to MODSIM in the form of time-series boundary conditions. The maximum shortage rate of agricultural water was estimated as 38.2% for the 2040s and 2080s under the RCP 4.5 scenario but was lower under the RCP 8.5 scenario (21.3% in the 2040s and 22.1% in the 2080s). Under the RCP 4.5 scenario, the projected shortage rate was higher than that during the measured baseline period (1982–2011) of 25.6% and the RCP historical period (1982–2005) of 30.1%. The future elevated drought levels are primarily attributed to the increasingly concentrated rainfall distribution throughout the year under a monsoonal climate, as projected by the IPCC climate scenarios. EDITOR Z.W. Kundzewicz; ASSOCIATE EDITOR not assigned

author list (cited authors)

  • Ahn, S. R., Jeong, J. H., & Kim, S. J.

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • November 2016