Technical Papers
Jan 13, 2021

Adaptation by Himalayan Water Resource System under a Sustainable Socioeconomic Pathway in a High-Emission Context

Publication: Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
Volume 26, Issue 3


Climate change in the Indian Himalayan region is being manifested in the loss of glaciers and altered patterns of monsoon rainfall. Simultaneously, rapid population growth together with economic development are increasing sectoral water demands and changing land use patterns. This study investigated the impact of this complex interplay on water resources in the Beas-Sutlej water resources system. The GFDL-CM3 model was used to describe RCP8.5 future meteorological conditions throughout the 21st century. Population and land use changes were projected under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway-1 (SSP1). The water evaluation and planning (WEAP) system was applied for assessing sectoral water demands. The results showed increasing runoff during the premonsoon and monsoon seasons due to increased glaciers melting and more rainfall, respectively. It also emerged that irrigation water demand decreased moderately in Punjab (8%–13%) and Haryana (1%–9%); however, the situation was reversed in Rajasthan where it increased by 14%. Adaptation strategies were proposed including increased water allocation to Rajasthan and converting lands to cultivating more staple crops in Punjab and Haryana.

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Data Availability Statement

All data generated or used during the study are publically available at in accordance with funder data retention policies.


The work reported here was funded by the UK-NERC (Grant Nos. NE/N016394/1 and NE/N015541/1)—“Sustaining Himalaya Water Resources in a Changing Climate (SusHi-Wat)”—as part of the UK-India Newton-Bhabha Sustainable Water Resources (SWR) thematic Programme. We also thank the BBMB for making the data available and Sanjay Jain at NIH-Roorkee for facilitating the link with the BBMB.


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Go to Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
Volume 26Issue 3March 2021


Received: Apr 7, 2020
Accepted: Nov 20, 2020
Published online: Jan 13, 2021
Published in print: Mar 1, 2021
Discussion open until: Jun 13, 2021


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ASCE Technical Topics:



Quan V. Dau, Ph.D.
Gestion de l’Eau, Acteurs, Usages, AgroParisTech, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, Institut de Recherche pour de Développement, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Institut Agro, Univ. of Montpellier, Montpellier 34196, France.
Andrea Momblanch, Ph.D.
Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield Univ., College Rd., Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK.
Professor, Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, Heriot-Watt Univ., Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK (corresponding author). ORCID: Email: [email protected]

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