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A comparative assessment of hydrological models in the upper cauvery catchment

Horan, R and Gowri, R and Wable, PS and Baron, H and Keller, VDJ and Garg, KK and Mujumdar, PP and Houghton-Carr, H and Rees, G (2021) A comparative assessment of hydrological models in the upper cauvery catchment. In: Water (Switzerland), 13 (2).

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/w13020151


This paper presents a comparison of the predictive capability of three hydrological models, and a mean ensemble of these models, in a heavily influenced catchment in Peninsular India: GWAVA (Global Water AVailability Assessment) model, SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) and VIC (Variable Infiltration Capacity) model. The performance of the three models and their ensemble were investigated in five sub-catchments in the upstream reaches of the Cauvery river catchment. Model performances for monthly streamflow simulations from 1983�2005 were analysed using Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, Kling-Gupta efficiency and percent bias. The predictive capability for each model was compared, and the ability to accurately represent key catchment hydrological processes is discussed. This highlighted the importance of an accurate spatial representation of precipitation for input into hydrological models, and that comprehensive reservoir functionality is paramount to obtaining good results in this region. The performance of the mean ensemble was analysed to determine whether the application of a multi-model ensemble approach can be useful in overcoming the uncertainties associated with individual models. It was demonstrated that the ensemble mean has a better predictive ability in catchments with reservoirs than the individual models, with NashSutcliffe values between 0.49 and 0.92. Therefore, utilising multiple models could be a suitable methodology to offset uncertainty in input data and poor reservoir operation functionality within individual models. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Water (Switzerland)
Publisher: MDPI AG
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to MDPI AG
Keywords: Catchments; Efficiency; Runoff; Soil moisture; Uncertainty analysis, Comparative assessment; Multi-model ensemble; Predictive abilities; Predictive capabilities; Soil water assessment tool; Spatial representations; Streamflow simulations; Variable infiltration capacities, Reservoirs (water), catchment; comparative study; hydrological modeling; reservoir; soil and water assessment tool; streamflow, Cauvery River; India
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 11:09
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2021 11:09
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/67941

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