Water quantity and quality simulation by improved SWAT in highly regulated Huai River Basin of China
High regulation of dams or sluices disturbs flow regimes and pollutant transformation process significantly in most basins over the world. The water quality and quantity simulation in highly regulated river basins is always a very complicated task. The Huai River Basin is a typical area in China with the highest density of water projects and serious pollution problems simultaneously. In this paper, a procedure based on Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was proposed to carry out the water quantity and quality simulation of Huai River Basin by incorporating the operation rules of dams or sluices into the reservoir regulation module. The water quality module in SWAT is extended to suit the actual situation of river basin in China. The results show that: for runoff simulation, 28 of all the 38 stations (73.7%) have the acceptable performance, with the average correlation coefficient and efficiency coefficient of 0.83 and 0.66, respectively in the calibration period. In the validation period, 17 of all the 34 stations (50%) have the acceptable performance, with the average correlation coefficient and efficiency coefficient of 0.77 and 0.54, respectively. The model performs the worst for reservoirs, little better for sluices and the best for unregulated stations. Comparing to the low flow and high flow simulation of original SWAT model, the low flow simulation of reservoirs and the high flow simulation of sluices are much better because of their different main purposes. For water quality simulation, the standard reaching rates of NH 3 –N and COD Mn are 55.9% (19/34) and 67.6% (23/34) respectively for all the stations, and the average relation coefficients are 0.46 and 0.48 respectively. Comparing with the results of original SWAT model, the improved model better reproduces the long-term water quantity and quality processes in the Huai River Basin of China. This study provides a new approach and reference to understand the variation of water quantity and quality in highly regulated river basin, and is expected as technical support for the environment restoration and integrated management in the basins, especially in China.