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Sensitivity of Hydrologic Response of an Experimental Watershed to Changes in Annual Precipitation Amounts

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  012001,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.4420) @2001
Authors:   Michael W. Van Liew, Jurgen Garbrecht
Keywords:   Precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff, SWAT, climate variability, basin scale modeling

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to predict variations in precipitation on a 538 sq km portion of the Little Washita River Experimental Watershed (LWREW) in Southwestern Oklahoma in order to quantify the impact of fluctuations in precipitation on evapotranspiration and runoff from the watershed. Observed precipitation and streamflow data from the watershed were used to calibrate SWAT, and then the precipitation generator in the model was utilized to simulate variations in precipitation ranging from -60 to +60 % of the baseline precipitation volume for the watershed. Expressed as a percentage of precipitation, simulated runoff volumes varied from 0 % to 27 % for + 60 % changes in the baseline precipitation. Test results from this study suggest that at very low levels of annual precipitation approaching 400 mm, runoff from the LWREW becomes negligible.

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