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Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources

Powerpoint presentation describing climate change impacts in India, hydrological impact of climate change, impact of climate change on groundwater, methodology to assess the impact of climate change on groundwater resources, recent studies, and role of artificial intelligence.

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Impact of Climate Change on
Groundwater Resources
C. P. Kumar
Scientist ‘G’ (Retired)
National Institute of Hydrology
Roorkee – 247667 (Uttarakhand)
Publications: http://www.angelfire.com/nh/cpkumar/publication/
Presentation Overview
◆ Groundwater in Hydrologic Cycle
◆ What is Climate Change?
◆ Climate Change Impacts in India
◆ Hydrological Impact of Climate Change
◆ Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater
◆ Methodology to Assess the Impact of Climate Change
on Groundwater Resources
◆ Recent Studies
◆ Role of Artificial Intelligence
Groundwater in Hydrologic Cycle
Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources
Types of Terrestrial Water
Ground water
Soil
Moisture
Surface
Water
Unsaturated Zone / Zone of Aeration / Vadose
(Soil Water)
Pores Full of Combination of Air and Water
Zone of Saturation (Ground water)
Pores Full Completely with Water

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Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources

  • 1. Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources C. P. Kumar Scientist ‘G’ (Retired) National Institute of Hydrology Roorkee – 247667 (Uttarakhand) Publications: http://www.angelfire.com/nh/cpkumar/publication/
  • 2. Presentation Overview ◆ Groundwater in Hydrologic Cycle ◆ What is Climate Change? ◆ Climate Change Impacts in India ◆ Hydrological Impact of Climate Change ◆ Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater ◆ Methodology to Assess the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources ◆ Recent Studies ◆ Role of Artificial Intelligence
  • 5. Types of Terrestrial Water Ground water Soil Moisture Surface Water
  • 6. Unsaturated Zone / Zone of Aeration / Vadose (Soil Water) Pores Full of Combination of Air and Water Zone of Saturation (Ground water) Pores Full Completely with Water
  • 7. Groundwater Important source of clean water More abundant than Surface Water Linked to SW systems Sustains flows in streams Baseflow
  • 9. Groundwater Concerns ➢ Groundwater overdraft / mining ➢ Waterlogging and soil salinity ➢ Seawater intrusion in coastal Aquifers ➢ Groundwater contamination
  • 10. Effective management of a groundwater system involves strategic decision-making in critical areas, including: • Annual Withdrawal Volume: Determining the permissible total volume for annual extraction from the aquifer. • Well Placement and Rates: Identifying optimal locations for pumping and artificial recharge wells, and establishing their respective extraction and injection rates. • Aquifer Protection and Remediation: Implementing measures to safeguard and rehabilitate contaminated aquifers, ensuring sustainable and resilient water resources.
  • 11. Why include groundwater in climate change studies? ▪ Groundwater makes up a small percentage of Earth's total water but comprises around 30% of its freshwater. ▪ It serves as the primary source of water for over 1.5 billion people globally. ▪ Depletion of groundwater poses a significant threat to irrigated agriculture.
  • 12. Groundwater's Role in Climate Change Studies Climate Resilience: Groundwater is a critical source of freshwater during droughts and reduced surface water availability, aiding climate adaptation and resilience planning. Sea Level Rise: Rising sea levels from climate change can cause saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers, necessitating management to protect freshwater supplies. Hydrological Changes: Climate-induced shifts in precipitation patterns can impact groundwater recharge rates, requiring understanding for sustainable water resource management.
  • 13. Ecosystem Support: Groundwater sustains wetlands, springs, and baseflows in rivers, vital for diverse ecosystems. Climate-induced groundwater level changes can disrupt these ecosystems and harm biodiversity. Urban and Agricultural Water Supply: Many cities and agricultural regions rely on groundwater for water supply. Climate- driven changes in groundwater availability and quality can have significant economic and social consequences. Climate Impact Mitigation: Well-managed groundwater resources enable managed aquifer recharge, storing excess surface water during wet periods. This helps mitigate flood risks and offers a buffer against climate extremes.
  • 14. What is Climate Change?
  • 15. What is Climate Change? IPCC usage: •Any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or from human activity. Alternate: •Change of climate, attributed directly or indirectly to human activity, that •Alters composition of global atmosphere and •Is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods
  • 19. Factors Contributing to Global Sea-Level Change • Global sea-level change is primarily driven by recent climate change. • Two main processes alter the volume of water in the global ocean: a) Thermal Expansion: Rising temperatures cause seawater to expand, contributing to sea-level rise. b) Exchange of Water: Water exchange occurs between oceans and other reservoirs: Glaciers, Ice Caps, Ice Sheets Other Land Water Reservoirs Anthropogenic Changes in Land Hydrology and Atmosphere • These processes collectively impact global sea-level rise.
  • 21. Changing Climate Trends and Future Projections Changing Climate Trends and Future Projections Observations of Change: ➢ Globally, hot days, hot nights, and heatwaves have become more frequent. ➢ Frequency of heavy precipitation events has increased over most land areas. Future Projections: ➢ Tropical cyclones are expected to become more intense, accompanied by heavier precipitation. ➢ Snow cover is projected to contract. ➢ Hot extremes, heatwaves, and heavy precipitation events are anticipated to become more frequent.
  • 22. Overview of the Climate Change Problem Source: IPCC Synthesis Report 2001
  • 23. GLOBAL CIRCULATION MODELS Formulated to simulate climate sensitivity to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
  • 24. Global Circulation Models (GCMs) in Climate Science ❖ GCMs, or General Circulation Models, are sophisticated computer simulations used in climate science. ❖ They simulate the Earth's climate system by incorporating various physical processes, including: ~ Atmospheric circulation ~ Ocean currents ~ Land surface interactions ❖ GCMs are crucial for predicting climate patterns and studying the impact of factors like greenhouse gas emissions on global climate change. ❖ These models are essential tools for understanding climate dynamics, making climate projections, and guiding policy decisions related to climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • 26. Impact of Climate Change in India ➢ India’s average temperature has risen by around 0.7 deg. C during 1901-2018. ➢ Frequency of daily precipitation extremes (rainfall intensities >150 mm per day) increased by about 75% during 1950-2015. ➢ The frequency and spatial extent of droughts over India has increased significantly during 1951-2015. ➢ Sea-level rise in the Indian Ocean occurred at a rate of 3.3 mm per year in the last two and half decades (1993-2017). ➢ Frequency of Severe Cyclonic Storms over Arabian sea has increased during the post monsoon seasons of 1998-2018.
  • 27. ❖ Change in Surface Air Temperature (TAS, °C) and Precipitation (PR, mm day−1) Relative to 1850–1900 for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 Scenarios from CMIP5 Models for the Global and the Indian Region During the Historical (1951–2014), Near Future (2040–2069) and Far Future (2070–2099) Period. ❖ This Data was produced by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. ❖ RCP4.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5) is a greenhouse gas emissions scenario that represents a moderate mitigation pathway, with global warming limited to around 2°C by 2100. ❖ RCP8.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) is a greenhouse gas emissions scenario that represents a high-end emissions pathway, leading to significant global warming of approximately 4.5°C or more by 2100 if not mitigated.
  • 28. ➢ CMIP5 Ensemble Projected Change (32 GCMs) in Annual Temperature by 2040– 2059 (left) and by 2080–2090 (right) Relative to 1986–2005 Baseline Under RCP8.5 ➢ The CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) ensemble refers to a collection of climate model simulations conducted by different research institutions worldwide, used to assess climate change projections and study various climate phenomena.
  • 29. ❑ Projected Average Annual Temperature in India Under RCP2.6 (Blue) and RCP8.5 (Red). The Shaded Areas Show the 10–90th Percentiles (Historical Reference Period, 1986–2005) ❑ RCP2.6 (Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6) is a greenhouse gas emissions scenario that represents a low emissions pathway, aiming to limit global warming to approximately 2°C or below by 2100, consistent with strong mitigation efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
  • 30. CMIP5 Ensemble Projected Change (32 GCMs) in Precipitation by 2040–2059 (left) and by 2080–2090 (right) Relative to 1986–2005 Baseline Under RCP8.5
  • 31. Overview of Climate Change in India ❖ India is already experiencing a warming climate. ❖ Unprecedented spells of hot weather are becoming more frequent, covering larger areas. ❖ Potential for significant shifts in temperature patterns. ❖ Decline in monsoon rainfall since the 1950s, with an increase in heavy rainfall events.
  • 32. Groundwater Vulnerability in India ❖ Even without climate change, 15% of India's groundwater resources are already overexploited, raising concerns about sustainability. ❖ Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns further challenge groundwater levels. ❖ It is challenging to predict future groundwater levels, but falling water tables are expected due to increasing demand, affluent lifestyles, and greater water demand from the services sector and industries. ❖ Continued groundwater depletion threatens agriculture, a sector heavily reliant on rain-fed water sources, exacerbating water stress in India.
  • 33. Impacts on Agriculture and Water Resources ❖ Under 4°C warming, west coast and southern India may shift to new high-temperature climatic regimes, affecting agriculture. ❖ Anticipated increase in drought frequency, particularly in north-western India, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Chhattisgarh. ❖ Over 60% of India's agriculture relies on rain-fed water sources, making the country highly dependent on groundwater. ❖ Glaciers in the northwestern Himalayas and Karakoram range are stable or retreating, impacting rivers and food production.
  • 34. Coastal Vulnerability and Urbanization Risks ❖ Mumbai has the world's largest population exposed to coastal flooding. ❖ Sea-level rise and storm surges can result in saltwater intrusion, affecting agriculture, groundwater quality, and drinking water. ❖ Densely populated coastal cities like Kolkata and Mumbai are vulnerable to sea-level rise, tropical cyclones, and riverine flooding. ❖ Rapid and unplanned urbanization increases the risks of sea water intrusion.
  • 36. Climate Change Impacts - General Climate Change Impacts - Water Resources
  • 37. Hydrological Impact of Climate Change ▪ Temperature increases directly affect the hydrologic cycle. ▪ Resulting in increased evaporation of surface water and vegetation transpiration. ▪ Changes in temperature can influence precipitation, affecting amounts, timing, and intensity. ▪ These temperature-driven changes indirectly impact water flux and storage in different reservoirs, including lakes, soil moisture, and groundwater. ▪ Climate change may lead to additional impacts such as sea water intrusion, water quality deterioration, and shortages of potable water.
  • 38. • Greater rainfall variability leads to more frequent and extended high or low groundwater levels. • Saline intrusion into coastal aquifers is a consequence of rising sea levels and resource reduction. • Groundwater resources are intricately linked to climate change, both directly and indirectly. • Direct interaction with surface water resources (lakes and rivers) has a significant impact on groundwater. • Indirectly, climate change influences groundwater through the recharge process. • Climate change's effect on groundwater hinges on changes in recharge volume and distribution. • Accurately quantifying this impact necessitates precise forecasting of climatic variables and groundwater recharge estimation.
  • 39. Impact of Climate Change Temperature Increase Change in Monsoon Pattern Increase in Rain Fall Intensity Decrease in Number of Rainy Days Decrease in Snow Fall Increase in Glacier Retreat Increase in Evaporation Rate Change in Runoff Pattern Change in Ground water Recharge Increase in Extreme Events Sea Level Rise Change in Water Quality
  • 40. Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources & Hydrologic Cycle • Change in precipitation pattern Increase in atmospheric water vapour content • Increased risk of floods and droughts Increased precipitation • Implications for agriculture, afforestation and water supply Change in evapo-transpiration, soil moisture and runoff • Implications for Ground water Withdrawal Change in Ground Water Recharge • Change in runoff pattern Ice melting and reduction in snow cover • Increased seawater intrusion Sea level rise
  • 41. Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater
  • 42. Issues on Groundwater Use Major problems related with groundwater use are: Issues due to over-exploitation of groundwater ➢ Depletion in groundwater table ➢ Land subsidence ➢ Saline water intrusion Issues on groundwater contamination ➢ Human health damage ➢ Abandonment of well leading to decrease of water availability In addition, CLIMATE CHANGE impact may add existing pressure on groundwater by ➢ Impeding recharge capacities ➢ Being called on to fill eventual gaps in surface water availability due to increased variability in precipitation
  • 43. Climate change can impact groundwater sustainability through various mechanisms: ▪ Changes in groundwater recharge due to seasonal and decadal variations in precipitation and temperature. ▪ More severe and prolonged droughts can reduce groundwater levels. ▪ Alterations in evapotranspiration caused by shifts in temperature and vegetation patterns. Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater
  • 44. ▪ Potential increased demands for groundwater as a backup water supply or for agricultural development. ▪ Rising sea levels leading to seawater intrusion in low- lying coastal areas, affecting groundwater quality. ▪ Groundwater systems respond slowly to long-term climate variability compared to surface-water systems. ▪ Effective groundwater management necessitates long- term ahead-planning due to these response characteristics.
  • 45. CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON GROUNDWATER - Recharge - Discharge - Storage - Quality - Temperature - Precipitation - Evapotranspiration - Sea level rise - Soil moisture
  • 46. Groundwater and Climate Change ➢ Groundwater is a critical resource for drinking, agriculture, and ecosystems. ➢ Climate change projections indicate alterations in precipitation patterns and increased temperatures. Reduced Recharge Rates ➢ Changes in precipitation affect natural groundwater recharge. ➢ Increased evaporation rates due to higher temperatures lead to less infiltration.
  • 47. Altered Groundwater Flow Patterns ➢ Shifts in precipitation and evapotranspiration influence groundwater flow paths. ➢ Decreased spring and stream flows connected to groundwater systems. Groundwater Quality Concerns ➢ Increased concentration of pollutants due to reduced dilution from lower recharge. ➢ Risk of saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers due to sea-level rise.
  • 48. Impact on Water Demand ➢ Rising temperatures and variability in water supply boost groundwater demand. ➢ Over-extraction risks due to increased reliance on groundwater. Ecosystem Consequences ➢ Dependence of wetlands and riparian habitats on groundwater levels. ➢ Threats to species and natural communities that rely on consistent groundwater inputs.
  • 49. Socioeconomic Implications ➢ Challenges for communities dependent on groundwater for potable and irrigation needs. ➢ Economic strain from the need to invest in alternative water sources or infrastructure upgrades. Adaptive Strategies and Management ➢ The necessity for integrated water resources management considering surface and groundwater. ➢ Importance of sustainable withdrawal practices and recharge enhancement techniques.
  • 50. Policy and Governance ➢ Need for robust legal frameworks to manage transboundary aquifers. ➢ Collaboration between scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders to develop adaptive policies. Research and Monitoring ➢ Critical role of ongoing research to understand climate impacts on groundwater. ➢ Implementation of advanced monitoring systems for early detection of groundwater changes. Concluding Remarks ➢ Climate change as a pressing issue requiring proactive groundwater management. ➢ Urgency of global and local action to mitigate impacts and adapt to changing groundwater realities.
  • 51. Methodology to Assess the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources
  • 52. Methodology to Assess the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater System The methodology consists of three main steps: ❖ Formulation of climate scenarios for future years (e.g., 2050 and 2100). ❖ Simulation of seasonal and annual recharges based on these scenarios using appropriate models (such as UnSat Suite or WetSpass). ❖ Simulation of groundwater system conditions using transient groundwater models (e.g., MODFLOW) for both present and future years.
  • 53. Key Tasks Main tasks involved in the study: ❖ Describe the hydrogeology of the study area. ❖ Analyze climate data from weather stations and GCMs, creating future climate change datasets. ❖ Develop a methodology for estimating changes in groundwater recharge under various climate change scenarios. ❖ Utilize computer codes like UnSat Suite or WetSpass to estimate groundwater recharge based on climate data. ❖ Quantify spatially distributed recharge rates using climate and soil survey data.
  • 54. Model Development and Analysis ❖ Development and calibration of a three-dimensional regional-scale groundwater flow model (e.g., Visual MODFLOW). ❖ Simulate groundwater levels using different recharge datasets. ❖ Evaluate changes in groundwater levels over time. ❖ Perform sensitivity analysis of the groundwater flow model to assess its robustness and reliability.
  • 55. Coastal Aquifers Coastal Aquifers are vulnerable to climate change. Factors considered: Sea level rise, changes in precipitation, and temperature. Methodology involves: ❖ Developing and calibrating a density-dependent numerical groundwater flow model. ❖ Estimating changes in sea level, temperature, and precipitation from GCM outputs. ❖ Estimating changes in groundwater recharge. ❖ Applying these changes to the numerical groundwater model to predict shifts in groundwater levels and salinity.
  • 56. A typical flow chart for various aspects of such a study is given below. The figure shows the connection from the climate analysis, to recharge simulation, and finally to a groundwater model. Recharge is applied to a three-dimensional groundwater flow model, which is calibrated to historical water levels. Transient simulations are undertaken to investigate the temporal response of the aquifer system to historic and future climate periods.
  • 57. Recent Studies on Imapct of Climate Change on Groundwater
  • 58. (1) Divergent effects of climate change on future groundwater availability in key mid-latitude aquifers Wen-Ying Wu et al. (2020), Nature Communications ▪ Investigated groundwater storage (GWS) changes in seven critical aquifers in the USA. ▪ Assessed potential climate-driven impacts on GWS changes throughout the 21st century under the business-as-usual scenario (RCP8.5). ▪ Climate-driven impacts on GWS changes don't necessarily follow long-term precipitation trends. ▪ Divergent responses of GWS changes across different aquifers. ▪ Reduction in GWS primarily due to: Enhancement of evapotranspiration and Reduction in snowmelt. ▪ Over-pumping and climate effects collectively contribute to GWS reduction. ▪ Climate change has complex and divergent effects on groundwater availability. ▪ Over-pumping is a significant contributor to GWS reduction. ▪ The study highlights the importance of considering both climate impacts and human activities in managing groundwater resources.
  • 59. (2) The impact of climate change on groundwater recharge: National-scale assessment for the British mainland A. Hughes et al. (2021), Journal of Hydrology ▪ Utilized the national-scale recharge model developed by the Future Flows and Groundwater Levels (FFGWL) project for the British mainland. ▪ Evaluated changes in seasonal and monthly recharge for the 2050s and 2080s time periods. ▪ Assessment conducted for the entire modeled area and river basin districts in England and Wales. ▪ Areal summaries and monthly time series of recharge values reveal consistent trends: Increased recharge during winter, Decreased recharge during summer, Mixed patterns in autumn and spring. ▪ Increased winter rainfall identified as the primary factor driving increased recharge. ▪ Water balance calculations demonstrate that the climate change "signal" becomes more pronounced compared to annual variability over the 2050s and 2080s. ▪ This results in a clearer pattern of more recharge being concentrated in fewer months. ▪ Climate change has significant effects on groundwater recharge patterns. ▪ Seasonal shifts in recharge have implications for water resource management and ecosystem health. ▪ Understanding these changes is crucial for sustainable groundwater management and adaptation to future climate conditions.
  • 60. (3) Impact of climate change on groundwater recharge and salinity distribution in the Vientiane basin, Lao PDR Pankham Soundala and Phayom Saraphiromb (2022), Journal of Water and Climate Change ▪ Study conducted in the Vientiane basin, Lao PDR (Southeast Asian country Laos). ▪ Utilized six climatic scenarios from three General Circulation Models (GCMs) under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5 to project future rainfall and temperature (2021–2050) ▪ Employed numerical models:- HELP3 for groundwater recharge estimation, MODFLOW for groundwater potential assessment, MT3D for salinity distribution analysis. ▪ Rainfall expected to increase during the next 30 years (2050) in the Vientiane basin. ▪ Percentage increases in rainfall under different GCMs and RCPs. ▪ Groundwater recharge estimated to rise consistently from baseline levels under all future climate conditions. ▪ Changes in salinity distribution in depth aquifers: Decrease in areas with Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) between 500 and 1,500 mg/l (saline water), Increase in areas with TDS at 500 mg/l (freshwater). ▪ Increased annual groundwater replenishment in response to climate change. ▪ Shifts in salinity distribution have implications for water quality and usage. ▪ The study underscores the importance of understanding the consequences of climate change on groundwater resources for sustainable management.
  • 61. Role of Artificial Intelligence in Climate Change Studies
  • 62. Harnessing AI for Climate Resilience ❖ Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a field of computer science focused on creating computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning from data, making decisions, and solving complex problems. ❖ Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game-changer in climate change studies, offering advanced solutions to tackle this pressing global issue. ❖ AI empowers researchers, policymakers, and organizations with data-driven insights and tools for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • 63. Key Contributions of AI ❖ Climate Modeling and Prediction: AI can enhance climate models, enabling accurate predictions of temperature changes, precipitation patterns, and extreme weather events. ❖ Data Analysis and Management: AI can process vast datasets from multiple sources, extracting valuable insights and trends related to climate change. ❖ Natural Disaster Prediction and Response: AI can predict natural disasters with precision, facilitating better preparedness and quicker response to minimize damage and save lives. ❖ Carbon Emission Monitoring: AI can track and analyze carbon emissions, aiding in emission reduction strategies and sustainable practices.
  • 64. AI for Climate Resilience AI can assist in - ❖ Identifying vulnerable regions and populations ❖ Monitoring ecosystems ❖ Enhancing food security in changing weather patterns ❖ Assessing climate-related risks for financial planning ❖ Educating and raising awareness about climate change
  • 68. Extreme Heat What we know: ➢ India is already experiencing a warming climate. What could happen: ➢ Unusual and unprecedented spells of hot weather expected to become more frequent and cover larger areas. ➢ Under 4°C warming, the west coast and southern India projected to shift to new, high-temperature climatic regimes, impacting agriculture. ➢ Potential for significant shifts in temperature patterns. What can be done: ➢ Urban areas becoming "heat-islands," increasing temperatures. ➢ Urban planners must adopt measures to mitigate the heat-island effect. ➢ Implement strategies like green infrastructure and cool roofing to counteract rising temperatures.
  • 69. Changing Rainfall Patterns What we know: • Decline in monsoon rainfall observed since the 1950s. • Increase in the frequency of heavy rainfall events. What could happen: • A 2°C rise in global temperatures may result in highly unpredictable Indian summer monsoons. • At 4°C warming, extremely wet monsoons, currently occurring once in 100 years, projected to occur every 10 years by the century's end. • Sudden monsoon changes may lead to more frequent droughts and increased flooding across India. • India's northwest coast to the southeastern coastal region may experience higher-than- average rainfall. • Dry years expected to become drier, while wet years will be wetter. What can be done: • Improve hydro-meteorological systems for better weather forecasting. • Install flood warning systems to facilitate timely evacuations. • Enforce building codes to ensure infrastructure and homes are resilient to extreme weather events.
  • 70. Droughts What we know: o Evidence suggests that parts of South Asia have experienced increased aridity since the 1970s. o There has been a rise in the number of drought events in the region. o Droughts have severe consequences, with significant impacts on agriculture. What could happen: o Anticipated increase in the frequency of droughts, particularly in north- western India, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Chhattisgarh. o Crop yields expected to decline significantly due to extreme heat by the 2040s. What can be done: o Investments in Research and Development (R&D) for the development of drought-resistant crop varieties. o Development of strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of drought on agriculture.
  • 71. Groundwater What we know: ▪ Over 60% of India's agriculture relies on rain-fed water sources, making the country highly dependent on groundwater. ▪ Even without climate change, 15% of India's groundwater resources are already overexploited, leading to concerns about sustainability. What could happen: ▪ It is challenging to predict future groundwater levels, but falling water tables are expected due to: Increasing demand for water from a growing population. Shift towards more affluent lifestyles. Greater water demand from the services sector and industries. What can be done: ▪ Encourage and incentivize the efficient use of groundwater resources. ▪ Implement policies and practices for sustainable groundwater management.
  • 72. Glacier Melt What we know: ❑ Glaciers in the northwestern Himalayas and Karakoram range have remained stable or advanced. ❑ Many Himalayan glaciers, primarily fed by the summer monsoon, have been retreating over the past century. What could happen: ❑ At 2.5°C warming, melting glaciers and snow loss may threaten the stability and reliability of northern India's glacier-fed rivers, particularly the Indus and Brahmaputra. ❑ The Ganges is less reliant on glacier melt due to high monsoon rainfall downstream. ❑ Expected alterations in river flows: Increased flows in spring during snowmelt. Reduced flows in late spring and summer. ❑ Impact on irrigation and food production: Indus basin: 209 million people. Ganges basin: 478 million people. Brahmaputra basin: 62 million people (2005 data). What can be done: ❑ Major investments in water storage capacity needed to harness increased river flows in spring and compensate for lower flows later on. ❑ Implement strategies for sustainable water management and adaptation to changing river dynamics.
  • 73. Agriculture and food security What we know: • World food prices are expected to rise due to factors like population growth, rising incomes, and increased biofuel demand. • Rising temperatures and lower rainfall at the end of the growing season have affected India's rice production. • Even without climate change, rice yields in India could have been almost 6% higher. • Wheat yields in India and Bangladesh peaked around 2001 and haven't increased despite higher fertilizer use. • Extremely high temperatures (>34°C) negatively impact wheat yields. What could happen: • Seasonal water scarcity, rising temperatures, and sea water intrusion could threaten crop yields and food security. • Continued trends may result in substantial yield reductions for rice and wheat in the short and medium term. • Under 2°C warming by the 2050s, India may need to import over twice the amount of food grain than would be required without climate change. What can be done: • Crop diversification to reduce reliance on vulnerable crops. • Efficient water use and improved soil management practices. • Development of drought-resistant crop varieties. • Implementing sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate negative impacts on food security.
  • 74. Energy Security What we know: ❖ Climate-related impacts on water resources can affect India's dominant forms of power generation: hydropower and thermal power. ❖ Both hydropower and thermal power generation rely on adequate water supplies for effective operation. ❖ Thermal power plants require a constant supply of fresh cool water for their cooling systems. What could happen: ❖ Increasing variability and long-term decreases in river flows can challenge hydropower plants. ❖ Higher risks of physical damage from climate-related natural disasters like landslides, flash floods, and glacial lake outbursts. ❖ Decreased water availability and rising temperatures pose risks to thermal power generation. What can be done: ❖ Projects must consider climatic risks in their planning and design. ❖ Implement measures to adapt power generation systems to changing climate conditions.
  • 75. Water Security What we know: ✓ Many parts of India are already facing water stress. ✓ Satisfying future water demand will be a significant challenge, even without climate change. ✓ Factors like urbanization, population growth, economic development, and increasing water demand from agriculture and industry contribute to water stress. What could happen: ✓ Increased variability in monsoon rainfall may exacerbate water shortages in certain regions. ✓ High water security threats are identified in central India, along the Western Ghats mountain ranges, and in India's northeastern states. What can be done: ✓ Implement improvements in irrigation systems. ✓ Promote water harvesting techniques. ✓ Adopt more efficient agricultural water management practices. ✓ These measures can help mitigate the risks associated with water security challenges.
  • 76. Health What we know: ➢ Climate change is expected to have significant health impacts in India. ➢ It may lead to increased malnutrition and related health disorders, particularly affecting the poor. ➢ Child stunting is projected to increase by 35% by 2050 due to climate change. ➢ Vector-borne diseases like malaria and diarrheal infections may spread to new areas. ➢ Heat waves are expected to result in a substantial rise in mortality and injuries from extreme weather events. What could happen: ➢ Health systems need to be strengthened in identified climate change hotspots. What can be done: ➢ Improve hydro-meteorological systems for accurate weather forecasting. ➢ Install flood warning systems to facilitate timely evacuations. ➢ Enforce building codes to ensure infrastructure resilience to extreme weather events.
  • 77. Sea Level Rise in India ❖ Average sea level rise along the Indian coast: 1.7 mm/year (1900-2000). ❖ Implications: A 3 cm rise could lead to a 17-meter inland intrusion. ❖ Future rates: 5 cm/decade. ❖ Alarming impact: Potential loss of 300 meters of land in a century. ❖ Most susceptible nation to compounding sea level rise impacts. ❖ Unique factors: Indian Ocean's rapid surface warming, contributing to half of the sea level rise. ❖ Indian Ocean's role: Fastest warming ocean. ❖ Cause: Half of sea level rise attributed to the volume of water expanding due to rapid ocean warming. ❖ Limited impact: Glacier melt's contribution is not as high in the Indian context. ❖ Urgency for adaptation: Understanding the threat and preparing for the compounded impacts of sea level rise in India.