Determining the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Drought Using CMIP6 Models (Case Study: Shahrekord Plain)

Document Type : Research Article


1 M.Sc. Student of Water Resources, Department of Water Engineering, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Water Engineering, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Ph.D. Student of Water Resources Engineering, Department of Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

5 Associate professor of Irrigation Engineering department,, college of Aburaihan, University of Tehran



Groundwater is the most valuable water resources in any region and in many arid and semi-arid regions of the world, such as Iran, is the main source for drinking and agricultural needs. In recent years, with the increase in population and as a result of increasing withdrawals from aquifers and climate change, many of aquifers are in poor condition, and these conditions continue or are deteriorating. In this study, in order to determine the effect of climate change on groundwater drought on the aquifer of Shahrekord plain, the output of CMIP6 models and SPI and GRI drought indices have been used. Simulations of GFDL-ESM4 model show that the average rainfall by 2050 in Shahrekord plain, under scenario SSP1-2.6 will increase by 4.85 mm and under scenario SSP5-8.5 will decrease by 21.34 mm. In order to determine the effect of climate change on the aquifer of Shahrekord plain, a regression relationship between the two indices of SPI and GRI in six selected piezometers has been used. The results show that droughts with higher intensity and duration will occur in the region and more than 60 percent of the future period of Shahrekord plain aquifer will be in drought conditions and the most severe drought under SSP1-2.6 scenario will last 52 months and its severity will be 59.32 and under the SSP5-8.5 scenario the most severe drought will last 70 months and its severity will be 86.59.


[1]. Jiménez Cisneros BE, Oki T, Arnell NW, Benito G, Cogley JG, Doll P, Jiang T, Mwakalila SS. Freshwater resources, 2022.
[2]. Dai A, Trenberth KE, Qian T. A global dataset of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870–2002: Relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface warming. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 2004 Dec 1;5(6):1117-30..
[3]. Sheffield J, Andreadis KM, Wood EF, Lettenmaier DP. Global and continental drought in the second half of the twentieth century: severity–area–duration analysis and temporal variability of large-scale events. Journal of Climate. 2009 Apr 15;22(8):1962-81.
[4]. Change IP. Climate Change 2007: the physical science basis. Agenda. 2007 May 31;6(07):333.
[5]. Portela MM, dos Santos JF, Silva AT, Benitez JB, Frank C, Reichert JM. Drought analysis in southern Paraguay, Brazil and northern Argentina: regionalization, occurrence rate and rainfall thresholds. Hydrology Research. 2015 Oct;46(5):792-810.
[6]. Al-Kaisi MM, Elmore RW, Guzman JG, Hanna HM, Hart CE, Helmers MJ, Hodgson EW, Lenssen AW, Mallarino AP, Robertson AE, Sawyer JE. Drought impact on crop production and the soil environment: 2012 experiences from Iowa. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 2013 Jan 1;68(1):19A-24A.
[7]. Zhang Z, Chen X, Xu CY, Hong Y, Hardy J, Sun Z. Examining the influence of river–lake interaction on the drought and water resources in the Poyang Lake basin. Journal of Hydrology. 2015 Mar 1;522:510-21.
[8]. Bond NR, Lake PS, Arthington AH. The impacts of drought on freshwater ecosystems: an Australian perspective. Hydrobiologia. 2008 Mar;600(1):3-16.
[9]. Ding Y, Hayes MJ, Widhalm M. Measuring economic impacts of drought: a review and discussion. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal. 2011 Aug 30.
[10]. Van Dijk AI, Beck HE, Crosbie RS, de Jeu RA, Liu YY, Podger GM, Timbal B, Viney NR. The Millennium Drought in southeast Australia (2001–2009): Natural and human causes and implications for water resources, ecosystems, economy, and society. Water Resources Research. 2013 Feb;49(2):1040-57.
[11]. Trenberth KE, Dai A, Van Der Schrier G, Jones PD, Barichivich J, Briffa KR, Sheffield J. Global warming and changes in drought. Nature Climate Change. 2014 Jan;4(1):17-22.
[12]. Smith AB, Katz RW. US billion-dollar weather and climate disasters: data sources, trends, accuracy and biases. Natural hazards. 2013 Jun;67(2):387-410.
[13]. Eyring V, Bony S, Meehl GA, Senior CA, Stevens B, Stouffer RJ, Taylor KE. Overview of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) experimental design and organization. Geoscientific Model Development. 2016 May 26;9(5):1937-58.
[14]. O'Neill BC, Tebaldi C, Van Vuuren DP, Eyring V, Friedlingstein P, Hurtt G, Knutti R, Kriegler E, Lamarque JF, Lowe J, Meehl GA. The scenario model intercomparison project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6. Geoscientific Model Development. 2016 Sep 28;9(9):3461-82.
[15]. Khan S, Gabriel HF, Rana T. Standard precipitation index to track drought and assess impact of rainfall on watertables in irrigation areas. Irrigation and Drainage Systems. 2008 Jun;22(2):159-77.
[16]. Mendicino, G., Senatore, A., & Versace, P. (2008). A Groundwater Resource Index (GRI) for drought monitoring and forecasting in a Mediterranean climate. Journal of Hydrology357(3-4), 282-302.
[17]. Bloomfield JP, Marchant BP, McKenzie AA. Changes in groundwater drought associated with anthropogenic warming. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 2019 Mar 11;23(3):1393-408.
[18]. Kumar R, Musuuza JL, Van Loon AF, Teuling AJ, Barthel R, Ten Broek J, Mai J, Samaniego L, Attinger S. Multiscale evaluation of the Standardized Precipitation Index as a groundwater drought indicator. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 2016 Mar 15;20(3):1117-31.
[19]. Leelaruban N, Padmanabhan G, Oduor P. Examining the relationship between drought indices and groundwater levels. Water. 2017 Feb;9(2):82.
[20]. Soleimani Motlagh M, Ghasemieh H, Talebi A, Abdollahi K. Identification and analysis of drought propagation of groundwater during past and future periods. Water resources management. 2017 Jan;31(1):109-25.
[21]. Nearing MA, Polyakov VO, Nichols MH, Hernandez M, Li L, Zhao Y, Armendariz G. Slope–velocity equilibrium and evolution of surface roughness on a stony hillslope. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 2017 Jun 30;21(6):3221-9.
[22]. Labarrere CA, Woods JR, Hardin JW, Campana GL, Ortiz MA, Jaeger BR, Reichart B, Bonnin JM, Currin A, Cosgrove S, Pitts DE. Early prediction of cardiac allograft vasculopathy and heart transplant failure. American Journal of Transplantation. 2011 Mar;11(3):528-35.
[23]. Guo M, Yue W, Wang T, Zheng N, Wu L. Assessing the use of standardized groundwater index for quantifying groundwater drought over the conterminous US. Journal of Hydrology. 2021 Jul 1;598:126227.
[24]. Abbasinia A, Morshedi J, Zohoriyan M, Ghorbaniyan J. Analysis and Comparison of SPI and GRI Indices in Assessing Meteorological Drought and Groundwater, Case Study: Mehran Plain, Ilam Province. Physical Geography Quarterly. 2021 Mar 21;14(Physical Geography Quarterly):95-114. [Persian]
[25]. Mirakbari M, Mortezaie FG, MOHSENI SM. Investigation of the effect of meteorological drought on surface and ground water resources by Indices SPI, SPEI, SDI and GRI. [Persian]
[26]. Shaker Sureh F, Asadi E. Meteorological and hydro-logical drought communication in Salmas Plain. Desert Ecosystem Engineering Journal. 2019 Jun 10;8(22):89-100. [Persian]
[27]. Noshadi M, Ahadi A. Analyzing Piezometers’ Behavior to Determine the Lag Time of the Rainfall Effects on the Groundwater Level Fluctuations in the Alluvial Plain of Shiraz by Using SPI and GRI Indices. JWSS-Isfahan University of Technology. 2020 Feb 10;23(4):299-312. [Persian]
[28]. Seyfi M, MOHAMMAD ZH, Mosaedi A. Evaluating the impacts of drought on groundwater resources in fasa aquifer using SPI, GRI and SECI. [Persian]
[29]. McKee TB, Doesken NJ, Kleist J. The relationship of drought frequency and duration to time scales. InProceedings of the 8th Conference on Applied Climatology 1993 Jan 17 (Vol. 17, No. 22, pp. 179-183).
[30]. Hayes MJ, Svoboda MD, Wiihite DA, Vanyarkho OV. Monitoring the 1996 drought using the standardized precipitation index. Bulletin of the American meteorological society. 1999 Mar;80(3):429-38.
[31]. Guenang GM, Kamga FM. Computation of the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and its use to assess drought occurrences in Cameroon over recent decades. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 2014 Oct;53(10):2310-24.
[32]. Lloyd‐Hughes B, Saunders MA. A drought climatology for Europe. International Journal of Climatology: A Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 2002 Nov 15;22(13):1571-92.
[33]. Gudmundsson L, Bremnes JB, Haugen JE, Engen-Skaugen T. Downscaling RCM precipitation to the station scale using statistical transformations–a comparison of methods. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 2012 Sep 21;16(9):3383-90.
[34]. Lee D, Lee G, Kim S, Jung S. Future runoff analysis in the Mekong River Basin under a climate change scenario using deep learning. Water. 2020 Jun;12(6):1556.
[35]. Yang X, Wood EF, Sheffield J, Ren L, Zhang M, Wang Y. Bias correction of historical and future simulations of precipitation and temperature for China from CMIP5 models. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 2018 Mar;19(3):609-23.
Volume 9, Issue 2
July 2022
Pages 419-436
  • Receive Date: 27 February 2022
  • Revise Date: 19 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 01 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2022