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The simulation results of the SWAT hydrological model indicate a change in river runoff for both climate scenarios. The mean increase in annual discharge of 15% and 55% was predicted for North Estonia by climate projections KNMI and DMI, respectively (Table 3). The spring peak in the study basins tends to occur earlier and be smaller compared to the baseline period. This pattern was more pronounced in the DMI climate projection, resulting from an increase in precipitation (Figure 7) and lesser winter snow accumulation. A significant increase in autumn discharge was projected by the same model.

Table 3

Projected changes in runoff and hydropower potential

HydroclimateBaselineChange (%)
RACMO KNMIHIRHAM5 DMI
Keila River at Keila-Joa 
 Mean annual runoff 6.8 m3/s 10.0 54.2 
 Mean winter hydropower 305 kW 25.6 34.3 
 Mean spring hydropower 332 kW 7.7 19.6 
 Mean summer hydropower 99 kW 40.4 68.6 
 Mean autumn hydropower 237 kW 8.2 39.9 
 Mean annual hydropower 243 kW 16.8 34.1 
Kunda River at Kunda Silla 
 Mean annual runoff 5.2 m3/s 21.5 57.5 
 Mean winter hydropower 127 kW 63.7 109.2 
 Mean spring hydropower 218 kW 26.4 24.5 
 Mean summer hydropower 73 kW 11.3 9.4 
 Mean autumn hydropower 118 kW 21.3 24.5 
 Mean annual hydropower 134 kW 32.1 42.6 
Valgejõe River at Nõmmeveski 
 Mean annual runoff 3.4 m3/s 18.5 52.8 
 Mean winter hydropower 134 kW 69.6 122.3 
 Mean spring hydropower 218 kW 10.3 22.6 
 Mean summer hydropower 72 kW 32.0 42.7 
 Mean autumn hydropower 138 kW 5.3 57.4 
 Mean annual hydropower 141 kW 26.0 57.4 
HydroclimateBaselineChange (%)
RACMO KNMIHIRHAM5 DMI
Keila River at Keila-Joa 
 Mean annual runoff 6.8 m3/s 10.0 54.2 
 Mean winter hydropower 305 kW 25.6 34.3 
 Mean spring hydropower 332 kW 7.7 19.6 
 Mean summer hydropower 99 kW 40.4 68.6 
 Mean autumn hydropower 237 kW 8.2 39.9 
 Mean annual hydropower 243 kW 16.8 34.1 
Kunda River at Kunda Silla 
 Mean annual runoff 5.2 m3/s 21.5 57.5 
 Mean winter hydropower 127 kW 63.7 109.2 
 Mean spring hydropower 218 kW 26.4 24.5 
 Mean summer hydropower 73 kW 11.3 9.4 
 Mean autumn hydropower 118 kW 21.3 24.5 
 Mean annual hydropower 134 kW 32.1 42.6 
Valgejõe River at Nõmmeveski 
 Mean annual runoff 3.4 m3/s 18.5 52.8 
 Mean winter hydropower 134 kW 69.6 122.3 
 Mean spring hydropower 218 kW 10.3 22.6 
 Mean summer hydropower 72 kW 32.0 42.7 
 Mean autumn hydropower 138 kW 5.3 57.4 
 Mean annual hydropower 141 kW 26.0 57.4 

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