Dongjiang water has been the key source of water supplies for Hong Kong and its neighbouring cities in the Pearl River Delta in South China since the mid-1960s. Rapid economic development and population growth in this region have caused serious concerns over the adequacy of the quantity and quality of water withdrawn from the Dongjiang River in the future. Information on the magnitude and frequency of low flows in the basin is needed for planning of water resources at present and in the near future. The L-moment method is used to analyse the regional frequency of low flows, since recent studies have shown that it is superior to other methods that have been used previously, and is now being adopted by many organizations worldwide. In this study, basin-wide analysis of low flows
is conducted for Dongjiang basin using five distributions: generalized logistic, generalized extreme value, lognormal, Pearson type III and generalized Pareto. Each of these has three parameters estimated by the L-moment method. The discordancy index and homogeneity testing show that 14 out of the 16 study sites belong to a homogenous region; these are used for further analysis. Based on the L-moment ratios diagram, the Hosking and Wallis goodness-of-fit statistical criterion and the L-kurtosis criterion, the three-parameter lognormal distribution is identified as the most appropriate distribution for the homogeneous study region. The regional low-flow estimates for each return period are obtained using
the index flood procedure. Examination of the observed and simulated low flows by regional frequency analysis shows a good agreement in general, and the results may satisfy practical application. Furthermore, the regional low-flow relationship between mean annual 7-day low flows and basin area is
developed using linear regression, providing a simple and effective method for estimation of low flows of desired return periods for ungauged catchments.
2006. Vol. 51, no 6, 1051-1064 p.