Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Comparative Assessment of the GWAVA, SWAT and VIC Models in the Hydrological Modelling of the Upper Cauvery Catchment, India

Version 1 : Received: 2 December 2020 / Approved: 4 December 2020 / Online: 4 December 2020 (11:59:41 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Horan, R.; Gowri, R.; Wable, P.S.; Baron, H.; Keller, V.D.J.; Garg, K.K.; Mujumdar, P.P.; Houghton-Carr, H.; Rees, G. A Comparative Assessment of Hydrological Models in the Upper Cauvery Catchment. Water 2021, 13, 151. Horan, R.; Gowri, R.; Wable, P.S.; Baron, H.; Keller, V.D.J.; Garg, K.K.; Mujumdar, P.P.; Houghton-Carr, H.; Rees, G. A Comparative Assessment of Hydrological Models in the Upper Cauvery Catchment. Water 2021, 13, 151.

Journal reference: Water 2021, 13, 151
DOI: 10.3390/w13020151

Abstract

This paper presents a comparison of the predictive capability of three hydrological models in a heavily influenced catchment in Peninsula India. In catchments where there is a high dependence on both streamflow and groundwater to meet demands, it is of importance to capture the catchment processes correctly. This study highlights the performance evaluation of a multi-model ensemble consisting of GWAVA (Global Water AVailability Assessment) model, SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) and VIC (Variable Infiltration Capacity) model for comparative purposes and the key catchment hydrological processes. The three models were compared in several sub-catchments in the upstream reaches of the Cauvery river catchment. Model performances for monthly streamflow simulations from 1983 – 2005 were analysed for five catchments in the Upper Cauvery. The analysis was undertaken using Nash- Sutcliffe Efficiency, Kling- Gupta Efficiency and percent bias. Additionally, a mean ensemble is presented. The application of a multi-model ensemble approach can be useful in overcoming the uncertainties associated with individual models. The ensemble mean has a better predictive ability in catchments with reservoirs than the individual models. Utilising multiple models could be a suitable methodology to offset uncertainty in input data and poor reservoir operation functionality within individual models. This study has highlighted the importance of an accurate spatial representation of precipitation for input into hydrological models and comprehensive reservoir functionality is paramount to obtaining good results in this region.

Subject Areas

Cauvery; hydrological modelling; VIC, SWAT; GWAVA; ensemble modelling; water resources

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