A coupled stochastic rainfall–evapotranspiration model for hydrological impact analysis
A hydrological impact analysis concerns the study of the consequences of certain scenarios on one or more variables or fluxes in the hydrological cycle. In such an exercise, discharge is often considered, as floods originating from extremely high discharges often cause damage. Investigating the impact of extreme discharges generally requires long time series of precipitation and evapotranspiration to be used to force a rainfall-runoff model. However, such kinds of data may not be available and one should resort to stochastically generated time series, even though the impact of using such data on the overall discharge, and especially on the extreme discharge events, is not well studied. In this paper, stochastically generated rainfall and corresponding evapotranspiration time series, generated by means of vine copulas, are used to force a simple conceptual hydrological model. The results obtained are comparable to the modelled discharge using observed forcing data. Yet, uncertainties in the modelled discharge increase with an increasing number of stochastically generated time series used. Notwithstanding this finding, it can be concluded that using a coupled stochastic rainfall–evapotranspiration model has great potential for hydrological impact analysis.