Assessing climate change impacts on water resources and crop yield: a case study of Varamin plain basin, Iran

  • Negar Shahvari
  • Sadegh KhalilianEmail author
  • Seyed Habibollah Mosavi
  • Seyed Abolghasem Mortazavi


This research evaluated climate change impacts on water resources using soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) models under representative concentration pathway scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 6, RCP 8.5). First, drought intensity was calculated using the standardized precipitation index (SPI) for the period 1987–2016. Then, the coefficients of precipitation as well as minimum and maximum temperature changes were simulated as SWAT model inputs. The results revealed that temperature will rise in future periods and the precipitation rate will be changed consequently. Then, changes in runoff during periods of 2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2100 were simulated by introducing downscaled results to SWAT model. The model was calibrated and validated by SWAT calibration and uncertainty procedures (SWAT-CUP). Nash-Sutcliffe (NS) coefficients (0.57 and 0.54) and R2 determination coefficients (0.65 and 0.63) were obtained for calibration and validation periods, respectively. The results showed that runoff will rise in fall and spring while it will drop in winter and summer throughout future periods under all three scenarios. Such seasonal shifts in runoff levels result from climate change consequences in the forms of temperature rise, snowmelt, altered precipitation pattern, etc. Future-period evapotranspiration will rise under all three scenarios with a maximum increase in the period 2070–2100 under RCP 8.5 scenario. Additionally, rainfed crop yields will decline without considerable changes in irrigated and horticultural crop yields.


Climate change SPI index SWAT model Runoff Evapotranspiration Crop yield 



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Negar Shahvari
    • 1
  • Sadegh Khalilian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Seyed Habibollah Mosavi
    • 1
  • Seyed Abolghasem Mortazavi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of AgricultureTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran

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