Framework for India’s strategic water resource management under a changing climate

Authored by: Himanshu Kulkarni , Himanshu Thakkar

Handbook of Climate Change and India

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9781849713580
eBook ISBN: 9780203153284
Adobe ISBN: 9781136521584


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The reflection of a changing climate, particularly in the form of extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat-waves, will have far-reaching consequences on the lives and livelihoods of human population in a country like India. The Water Mission constituted under India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) summarizes the overall impacts of Climate Change in India as, ‘the projected climate change resulting in warming, sea level rise and melting of glaciers will adversely affect the water balance in different parts of India and quality of ground water along the coastal plains’. Preliminary reports indicate that the impact of climate change will result in intensification of spatial and temporal variations in water resources resulting in severity in floods and drought-like situations (MoWR, 2009). In other words, scenarios stemming from increased frequencies and intensities of droughts and floods will become a common feature. Risks to future water availability and reliability are among the most damaging expected impacts of climate change to India. Yet, attention to this aspect of climate impacts cannot be independent of the history of water policy and management in India, as the past has set the physical and institutional conditions for future responses.

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