In an attempt to assess the impact of climatic changes on river basins across the country,the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs),along with other institutes,have been roped in to conduct comprehensive basin-wise studies. The project has been initiated by the Ministry of Water Resources.
The assessment will help in planning and implementing mitigation schemes,said experts. Such an analysis is important for India and a study of such a mammoth scale has not been done before. It will look at multiple aspects,including analysis of trends of events such as rainfall and floods and the reason behind such trends.
We will evaluate changes likely to occur in climatic conditions,for instance,whether there will be an increase in rainfall. If we can gauge the impact of changes in the climate at the basin level and on our water resources and quantify it,it will enable policymakers to devise appropriate policies and strategies such as flood mitigation measures among others, said an IIT faculty member.
The institutes are in the process of drawing up proposals and the budget required,for approval by the ministry. IIT Bombay,for instance,is looking at Godavari,Krishna and Sabarmati basins,besides west-flowing rivers; Tapti to Tadri and Tadri to Kanyakumari. Besides IIT-B,the institutes involved in the project include IIT Delhi,IIT Madras,IIT Kharagpur,IIT Guwahati,IIT Rajasthan,Indian Institute of Science (IISc)-Bangalore and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) Jaipur and Surat. The other areas of the study are river basins of Narmada,Krishna,Indus,Cauvery,Brahmaputra,Brahmani,Tapti,Mahanandi and east-flowing rivers between Mahanandi and Penner among others.
The evaluation of impact of events such as rainfall,floods and droughts,assessment of trends of various climatic and hydrological parameters,projection of water situation and projection of extreme hydrological events are part of the project.
Currently,there is scarcity of data for this kind of a study. It is a difficult project,but is essential as it is high time that we spelt out risks likely due to extreme events to our basins and accordingly come with up actions plans, said another IIT teacher.