Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-137
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-137

Submitted as: model description paper 31 May 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 31 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

DRYP 1.0: A parsimonious hydrological model of DRYland Partitioning of the water balance

Edisson Andres Quichimbo1, Michael Bliss Singer1,3,4, Katerina Michaelides2,4,5, Daniel E. J. Hobley1, Rafael Rosolem5,6, and Mark O. Cuthbert1,3,7 Edisson Andres Quichimbo et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, UK
  • 2School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
  • 3Water Research Institute, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, UK
  • 4Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 5Cabot Institute for the Environment, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 6University of Bristol, Faculty of Engineering, University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR, UK
  • 7School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Abstract. Dryland regions are characterized by water scarcity and are facing major challenges under climate change. One difficulty is anticipating how rainfall will be partitioned into evaporative losses, groundwater, soil moisture and runoff (the water balance) in the future, which has important implications for water resources and dryland ecosystems. However, in order to effectively estimate the water balance, hydrological models in drylands need to capture the key processes at the appropriate spatiotemporal scales including spatially restricted and temporally brief rainfall, high evaporation rates, transmission losses and focused groundwater recharge. Lack of available data and the high computational costs of explicit representation of ephemeral surface-groundwater interactions restrict the usefulness of most hydrological models in these environments. Therefore, here we have developed a parsimonious hydrological model (DRYP) that incorporates the key processes of water partitioning in dryland regions, and we tested it in the data-rich Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed against measurements of streamflow, soil moisture and evapotranspiration. Overall, DRYP showed skill in quantifying the main components of the dryland water balance including monthly observations of streamflow (Nash efficiency (NSE) ~0.7), evapotranspiration (NSE > 0.6) and soil moisture (NSE ~0.7). The model showed that evapotranspiration consumes > 90 % of the total precipitation input to the catchment, and that < 1 % leaves the catchment as streamflow. Greater than 90 % of the overland flow generated in the catchment is lost through ephemeral channels as transmission losses. However, only ~35 % of the total transmission losses percolate to the groundwater aquifer as focused groundwater recharge, whereas the rest is lost to the atmosphere as riparian evapotranspiration. Overall, DRYP is a modular, versatile and parsimonious Python-based model which can be used to anticipate and plan for climatic and anthropogenic changes to water fluxes and storage in dryland regions

Edisson Andres Quichimbo et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-137', Ty P. A. Ferre, 01 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Andres Quichimbo, 18 Jun 2021
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Ty P. A. Ferre, 18 Jun 2021
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-137', Juan Antonio Añel, 30 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on CEC1', Andres Quichimbo, 08 Jul 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on gmd-2021-137', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Jul 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Andres Quichimbo, 13 Jul 2021

Edisson Andres Quichimbo et al.

Model code and software

DRYP_v1.0 E. A. Quichimbo, M. B. Singer, K. Michaelides, D. E. J. Hobley, R. Rosolem, M. O. Cuthbert https://github.com/AndresQuichimbo/DRYP

Edisson Andres Quichimbo et al.

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Short summary
Understanding and quantifying the water partitioning in dryland regions are of key importance to anticipate the future impacts of climate change in water resources and dryland ecosystems. Here, we have developed a simple hydrological model (DRYP) that incorporates the key processes of water partitioning in drylands. DRYP is a modular, versatile and parsimonious model which can be used to anticipate and plan for climatic and anthropogenic changes to water fluxes and storage in dryland regions.