ZEF Colloquium / Public Lecture on Analysis of the impacts of climate change on streamflow in heterogeneous river basins: A case of Alingar watershed in Afghanistan

October 7, 2021 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

ZEF Colloquium/Public Lecture

Speaker: Fazlullah Akhtar (Center for Development Research, ZEF)

Title: Analysis of the impacts of climate change on streamflow in heterogeneous river basins: A case of Alingar watershed in Afghanistan.


This research was carried out in the Alingar watershed which is part of the Kabul River Basin (KRB), located in the Hindukush Himalaya ranges of Afghanistan; most of the precipitation received here is in the form of snow. Climate change is projected to affect the hydrological cycle and water availability in this watershed. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to analyze the impacts of climate change on the streamflow of the Alingar watershed from 2020 to 2045. The model was calibrated and validated for 2008-2013 and 2014-2019 respectively. The Kling-Gupta Efficiency (KGE) was used for the performance evaluation o f the SWAT model. During the calibration and validation, the resultant KGE achieved were 0.72 and 0.89, while the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) was 0.59 and 0.98, R2 was 0.60 and 0.99 respectively. After successful calibration and validation, climate change scenarios especially RCP 4.5 and 8.5 were simulated which show that by 2045, the mean annual streamflow under RCP 4.5 and 8.5 are expected to reduce by 15 and 16% respectively. Similarly, the annual hydrograph peak moved from May - June (during the base period i.e. 2000-2019) to July - August. The reduction in the magnitude of mean annual streamflow, as well as a shift of the peak hydrograph, provides sustainable input for future water resources management strategies that can be used to mitigate and respond to climate change.



Fazlullah Akhtar (Dr.-Ing.) is working as a Senior Researcher and Sustainable Dev elopment Goal Fellow (SDG-Fellow) at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn. He got Ph.D. (Engineering) from the University of Bonn, Germany; his Ph.D. research was focused on water availability and demand analysis in the Kabul river basin of Afghanistan. Dr. Akhtar is a hydrologist and has extensive experience working in the Amu Darya, Indus, and Kabul river basins. He is the author/co-author of several peer-reviewed publications, articles, and book chapters in the field of water management and hydrological modeling. Besides his academic achievements, Dr. Akhtar has extensive experience of working with UNFAO, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, USAID, and some prestigious governmental entities including the Higher Education Ministry as well as the office of the President of the The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.