Effects of land use and climate change on water scarcity in rivers of the Western Ghats of India

T. M., Sharannya, K, Venkatesh, Mudbhatkal, Amogh , M, Dineshkumar and Amai, Mahesha (2021) Effects of land use and climate change on water scarcity in rivers of the Western Ghats of India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 193 (820). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0167-6369

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-021-09598-7

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Effects of land use and climate change on water scarcity in rivers of the Western Ghats of India
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Abstract

This paper assesses the long-term combined effects of land use (LU) and climate change on river hydrology and water scarcity of two rivers of the Western Ghats of India. The historical LU changes were studied for four decades (1988–2016) using the maximum likelihood algorithm and the long-term LU (2016–2075) was estimated using the Dyna-CLUE prediction model. Five General Circulation Models (GCMs) were utilized to assess the effects of climate change (CC) and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used for hydrological modeling of the two river catchments. To characterize granular effects of LU and CC on regional hydrology, a scenario approach was adopted and three scenarios depicting near-future (2006–2040), mid-future (2041–2070), and far-future (2071–2100) based on climate were established. The present rate of LU change indicated a reduction in forest cover by 20% and an increase in urbanized areas by 9.5% between 1988 and 2016. It was estimated that forest cover in the catchments may be expected to halve compared to the present-day LU (55% in 2016 to 23% in 2075), along with large-scale conversion to agricultural lands (13.5% in 2016 to 49.5% in 2075). As a result of changes to LU and forecasted climate, it was found that rivers in the Western Ghats of India might face scarcity of fresh water in the next two decades until the year 2040. However, because of large-scale LU conversion toward the year 2050, streamflow in rivers might increase as high as 70.94% at certain times of the year. Although an increase in streamflow is perceived favorable, the streamflow changes during summer and winter may be expected to affect the cropping calendar and crop yield. The changes to streamflow were also linked to a 4.2% increase in ecologically sensitive wetlands of the Aghanashini river catchment.

Keywords:Climate change, Dyna CLUE, land use, land use change, Western Ghats of India, Water scarcity
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D443 Water Resource Management
H Engineering > H220 Environmental Engineering
N Business and Administrative studies > N231 Land Management
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:48801
Deposited On:31 Mar 2022 10:33

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