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The correlation between precipitation and runoff decreased for the 1972–1994 and 1995–2010 periods compared to the 1960–1971 period, and annual runoff yield significantly decreased at the same annual precipitation. Compared with runoff and precipitation from 1960 to 1971, the mean annual runoff declined by 25.78% and 53.29% in 1972–1994 and 1995–2010, respectively, whereas mean annual precipitation declined by only 5.32% and 11.23%, respectively. Although the change in monthly runoff is notable, there was little change in monthly precipitation. The asynchronous changes in precipitation and runoff may be the driving force behind the changes in PRR. Due to the minimal changes in precipitation, it is essential to determine the reason for the changes in runoff. To this end, the climate elasticity of runoff method (Liu & Cui 2011) was applied to study the impact of climate changes (i.e., precipitation and PET) and human activities on runoff reduction (Table 6).

Table 6

Impacts of climate variability and human activities on runoff reduction by climate elasticity of runoff method in the WRB

    Climate change
Human activities
PeriodsRunoff (mm)Precipitation (mm)PET (mm)ΔQC (mm)CCΔQH (mm)CH
1960–1971 77.13 585.64 851.68     
1972–1994 57.25 554.49 830.69 −3.15 15.85% −16.73 84.15% 
1995–2010 36.03 519.86 870.47 −17.61 42.84% −23.49 57.16% 
    Climate change
Human activities
PeriodsRunoff (mm)Precipitation (mm)PET (mm)ΔQC (mm)CCΔQH (mm)CH
1960–1971 77.13 585.64 851.68     
1972–1994 57.25 554.49 830.69 −3.15 15.85% −16.73 84.15% 
1995–2010 36.03 519.86 870.47 −17.61 42.84% −23.49 57.16% 

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