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EFFECT OF IRRIGATION ON RUNOFF AND LOCAL CLOUD SYSTEMS IN THE YELLOW RIVER BASIN $100.00
Authors:  Xieyao Ma and Hiroaki Kawase
Abstract:
The Yellow River basin, which is located in an arid to semi-arid region of northern
China, is one of the largest irrigated areas in the world and has suffered from chronic
severe water shortages in recent decades. To sustain local rural communities and
maintain food security, water-saving irrigation measures are required. In this chapter, we
used numerical modeling experiments to examine the effects of water-saving measures. A
hydrological model was used to simulate the effects of lower water use on river runoff,
and a regional climate model was used to investigate the influence of irrigation on the
atmospheric vapor system. The hydrological modeling demonstrated that water-saving
irrigation had significant effects at the Toudaoguai hydrological gauge downstream from
the Qingtongxia and Hetao irrigation districts and at the Sanmenxia gauge downstream
from the Weihe and Fenhe irrigation districts. For three progressively higher levels of
water savings, annual runoff in the period 1980-2001 increased by approximately 26.8,
53.8, and 88.5% at Toudaoguai and 31.6, 62.1, and 97.2% at Sanmenxia, respectively.
The annual mean discharge at Huayuankou was maintained at > 420 m3/s, which is more
than the minimum ecological discharge of 170 m3/s for that station. A cloud-formation
experiment was conducted after confirming that satellite-observed cloud distributions
were properly simulated. Land-use- induced circulation inhibited cloud formation over
the Hetao Irrigation District and transported water vapor from the irrigated area to the
surrounding dry area, contributing to cumulus cloud formation over the surrounding dry
area. 


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EFFECT OF IRRIGATION ON RUNOFF AND LOCAL CLOUD SYSTEMS IN THE YELLOW RIVER BASIN