Lower Ganga basin may face agri drought soon BHU study


The study, carried out by Prof. R. K. Mall and Ph.D. scholar Pawan Kumar Chaubey from the DST-Mahamana Centre of Excellence in Climate Change Research (DST-MCECCR) of the BHU, explored the new possible hotspots for urban flooding in the future due to the increasing pattern of heavy rainfall. It also calls for timely efforts by policymakers to manage the excess water situations.

Prof Mall said, “Global warming increases the risk of hydro-climate extremes such as floods and droughts worldwide. The increasing rate of atmospheric heat increases the water content, which is the leading cause of extreme events. The widespread variability in extreme events has affected man-made and natural systems.”

The project was supported under the Climate Change Program of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. The findings of the study have been published in the internationally renowned journal Earth’s Future by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

The study found that the frequency of extreme rainfall was expected to increase over the Western Ghats and the northeast river basins, while an increase in heavy rainfall intensity (14.3%) is projected over the upper Ganga and Indus basin. Also, approximately 4%-10% of the heavy rainfall is projected to increase over the western part of Indian River basins during the near (2021-2040) and mid (2041-2060) future.

“Due to the intensification of extreme rainfall, Western Ghats, Indus, West, and Central Indian River basins will be highly vulnerable. Major cities like Mumbai and Pune, situated in the west-flowing river basins, would be at a high risk of urban flooding due to the increasing future precipitation extremes,” it said.

The lower Ganga basin was likely to experience a decrease in monthly mean precipitation of approximately 7 to 11 mm/day in the near future. India’s Eastern Ghats river basins were found to have decreased approximately 20% in daily precipitation, however, in the far future, it is projected to increase approximately 15%.


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