Water Resource Planning Under Future Climate and Socioeconomic Uncertainty in the Cauvery River Basin in Karnataka, India (Wednesday, 19th August, 2020, 1300 BST/ 1730 IST)

UK Activity Lead Name: 

Dr. Ajay Bhave & Prof. Suraje Dessai

UK Activity Lead Organisation: 

Newcastle University & University of Leeds

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Estimating local and regional mid-century precipitation changes is deeply uncertain, but they are essential for long-term water resources planning. Decision‐Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU) approaches have value for supporting water planners, but applications in developing countries are limited. We have developed and are applying a novel interdisciplinary methodology in the Cauvery River Basin in Karnataka (CRBK), India, to explore uncertainties, risks and adaptation to a changing climate. We first use expert elicitation to develop climate narratives, which describe the physically plausible evolution of future precipitation change and relevant climate processes, and semi-quantify the narratives using observations and re-analysis data to construct time series of precipitation change for the CRBK catchment. We then combine water resources modelling and stakeholder engagement to explore the robustness of stakeholder-identified adaptation options and pathways against future uncertainties in socio-economic changes (water demand) and precipitation changes. Plausible future changes are used to drive a calibrated Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) model from 2021 to 2055, to examine two decision‐critical metrics: a basin-wide metric comprising legal instream flow requirements for the downstream state of Tamil Nadu, and a local metric comprising water supply reliability to Bangalore city. In this webinar we will present results of this research and discuss its implications.

Due to the interdisciplinary approach, this webinar will be of interest to a wide ranging audience, from climate, environmental, water, engineering and social sciences, to stakeholders involved in the water-related sectors in both countries, as well as decision makers at different levels of government, and non-governmental organisations.

Presenters’ Bios

Dr Ajay Bhave is currently Core Research Fellow in the School of Engineering, Newcastle University.   He holds a PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, as well as a Masters in Environmental Science, Policy and Management (a European Commission Programme) and a Masters in Environmental Sciences from the University of Pune, India. He is an Earth System Governance Research Fellow and an Erasmus Mundus Master’s Scholarship awardee from the European Commission. He has received the Jawaharlal Nehru Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award (2015) from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, for his PhD research titled ‘Prioritization and evaluation of climate change adaptation options for the water sector’.  Over the last 10 years he has worked on climate change adaptation and decision making under uncertainty, and has published in reputed journals, including Journal of Hydrology, Climatic Change and Water Resources Research. Through the Centre For Climate Change Economics and Policy (a joint centre between the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Leeds), he initiated research in the Cauvery River Basin in Karnataka, to explore the extent to which adaptation measures and pathways could help address uncertain future risks to water.  This research is an Indo-UK Collaboration with colleagues at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (Department of Civil Engineering and the Divecha Centre for Climate Change), and engagement with NGO representatives and government stakeholders in Karnataka.  His research interests include water resources, climate change adaptation, decision-making under uncertainty, and green Urban Infrastructure.

Prof. Suraje Dessai has been the Professor of Climate Change Adaptation at the Sustainability Research Institute in the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, since 2012. His current research and teaching focuses on the management of climate change uncertainties, perception of climate risks and the science-policy interface in climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. He has published 75+ research articles, including in top journals in the field, such as Science, Nature Climate Change, and Global Environmental Change.  Prof. Dessai has conducted world-leading research on the characterisation, quantification and management of climate change uncertainties to inform water resources planning under deep uncertainty.  He is actively engaged in international efforts as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a lead author of Chapter 2: Foundations of Decision-making for the 5th Assessment Report.  He has led on a European Research Council Starting Grant on Advancing Knowledge Systems to Inform Climate Adaptation Decisions Project).  He was also involved in two large European projects: European Provision Of Regional Impact Assessment on a Seasonal-to-decadal timescale and Bottom-up Climate Adaptation Strategies towards a Sustainable Europe.  He is member of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy CCCEP) where he has been leading an Indo-UK collaborative project on "Institutions, Climate Services and Adaptation: water resource planning under uncertainty in the Cauvery River Basin in Karnataka".  

Activity Date Calender: 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020