Spatial Assessment of Water-Use Vulnerability under Future Climate and Socioeconomic Scenarios within a River Basin

Heey Jin Kim, Kyeungwoo Cho, Yeonjoo Kim, Hyesun Park, Ji Wan Lee, Seong Joon Kim, Yeora Chae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This case study developed a framework to assess the spatial distribution of water-use vulnerability within a river basin under various scenarios of climate change, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Our indicator-based approach used a multicriteria decision-making technique and drew from the vulnerability concept of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes components of adaptive capacity, exposure, and sensitivity. To conduct a vulnerability assessment in the Han River basin, South Korea, datasets for the selected indicators from the IPCC vulnerability concept were used in conjunction with simulation results obtained from a hydrologic model. The datasets includes the existing national statistical database, climate change scenarios from representative concentration pathways (RCPs), scenarios for climate change adaptation, and mitigation strategies from shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). With six plausible combinations of the RCPs and SSPs, hydrological simulations using the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) were carried out. The results for the Han River basin indicate that, of the three components of vulnerability, the greatest differences between scenarios were associated with the exposure component, which is influenced by physical climate and environmental changes. Furthermore, it was shown that vulnerability can vary with different SSPs as much as it can with different RCPs. The vulnerability results obtained with the plausible SSP scenarios markedly differed from those with the historical socioeconomic data (i.e., no SSP). This shows the importance of considering socioeconomic scenarios in studies of vulnerability and sustainability in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05020011
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) through the Advanced Water Management Research Program (83089) as well as the Climate Change R&D Program (2018001310001), both funded by the Ministry of Environment. This work was also supported by a grant from the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (Grant 2018R1A1A3A04079419).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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