Short-term climate change influence on surface water quality impacts from agricultural activities

Avcı B. C., Kesgin E., Atam M., Tan R. I., Abdelkader M.

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol.30, no.38, pp.89581-89596, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 38
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-023-28700-9
  • Journal Name: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.89581-89596
  • Keywords: Agricultural basin, Climate change, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, SWAT, Water quality
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Climate change is a global phenomenon that directly affects agriculture by altering crop yield, nutritional quality, pests, and plant diseases. The North Aegean Basin located in Turkey has considerable agricultural importance due to its fertile soils. Agricultural activities have increased significantly and uncontrollably in the last decade, resulting in dramatic changes in nitrate and phosphorus levels in surface water within the watershed. Changes in climatic conditions have the potential to impact the quantity and quality of water resources. Best management practices (BMPs) are presently utilized as a planning tool to enhance the quality of water resources. To develop policies in this regard, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs. To this end, this study aims to investigate the potential effect of climate change on the surface water quality of the North Aegean Basin. For the period between 2010 and 2030, global climate data retrieved from Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios 4.5 and 8.5 and regionally downscaled were used to feed the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The various potential BMP scenarios were developed and simulated in the hydrological model by considering the effects of climate change. The RCP4.5 scenario reduced the precipitation by 15.11%, while the RCP8.5 scenario reduced the precipitation by 10.97%. Decreased precipitation also affected the runoff and the nutrient loads and concentrations. As a result of the RCP4.5 simulation, TP and TN concentrations increased by 24.42% and 58.45%, respectively, in the IST_KEN014 station. Improvements were observed in TN and TP concentrations with the effect of applied BMP simulations. Also, the results revealed that the applied BMP scenarios may contribute to considerable reductions in nutrient loads. Considering the RCP4.5 scenario, BMPs reduced TN loads in the basin by 2.42–10.97%, while reducing TP loads by around 3.60–16.81%. Considering the RCP8.5 scenario, the BMPs reduced the TN loads in the basin between 2.21 and 10.04%, while they reduced the TP loads between 3.57 and 16.67%.