LIKELY INTENSIFICATION OF WATER DEFICIT CONDITIONS OVER THE COMAHUE REGION UNDER DIFFERENT CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIOS
Gabriela Raggio y Ramiro Saurral
The main socio-economic activities of the Comahue region in the northern Patagonia in Argentina depend directly on the water availability of the Limay, Neuquén and Negro rivers. In this work, the VIC (Variable Infiltration Capacity) hydrological model was applied to the basins of these rivers in order to study the possible impact climate change will have on the hydrology of the region over the next few decades. It was found that the available observational database is insufficient to carry out an adequate calibration of the model on a daily basis: various corrections to the maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation were applied separately at a monthly level, obtaining a satisfactory calibration (1999-2009) and validation (2011-2016) at an annual level when reducing the temperatures in the Andes. The projected changes in precipitation and in maximum and minimum temperatures for the remainder of the 21st century under the scenarios with moderate and high radiative forcing suggest a decrease in precipitation in the Andes of the Neuquén province and an increase in temperatures. These conditions would result in a reduction in the mean annual flow for the rivers of the region that would be enhanced by an increase in the concentration of the greenhouse gases.