This paper presents future climate and runoff projections for the South Asia region under the RCP8.5 scenario with climate change informed by 42 CMIP5 GCMs. Runoff is projected for 0.5° grids using hydrological models with future climate inputs obtained by empirically scaling the historical climate series.

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Surface irrigation is a common pool resource characterized by asymmetric appropriation opportunities across upstream and downstream water users. Large canal systems are also predominantly managed by the state. This paper studies water allocation under an irrigation bureaucracy subject to corruption and rent-seeking.

This report provides comprehensive information about the glacial lakes of five major river basins of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) — Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Irrawaddy, including Mansarovar Interior Basin — representing the year 2005, which helps to fill the data gap of glacial lakes information in the region.

Concern has been growing in recent years regarding the potential impact of climate change on Pakistan’s already stressed water resources.

The objective of this study is to analyze heterogeneous perceptions of the relative importance of riverine ecosystem services to inform policy decisions. To improve allocation of scarce resources across competing uses, it is crucial to understand the values placed on various water uses.

A likely consequence of global warming will be the redistribution of Earth’s rain belts, affecting water availability for many of Earth’s inhabitants. We consider three ways in which planetary warming might influence the global distribution of precipitation. The first possibility is that rainfall in the tropics will increase and that the subtropics and mid-latitudes will become more arid. A second possibility is that Earth’s thermal equator, around which the planet’s rain belts and dry zones are organized, will migrate northward.

The nature and timing of rice domestication and the development of rice cultivation in South Asia is much debated. In northern South Asia there is presently a significant gap (c.4200 years) between earliest evidence for the exploitation of wild rice (Lahuradewa c.6000 BCE) and earliest dated evidence for the utilisation of fully domesticated rice (Mahagara c.1800 BCE). The Indus Civilisation (c.3000–1500 BCE) developed and declined during the intervening period, and there has been debate about whether rice was adopted and exploited by Indus populations during this ‘gap’.

Groundwater abstraction from the transboundary Indo-Gangetic Basin comprises 25% of global groundwater withdrawals, sustaining agricultural productivity in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Recent interpretations of satellite gravity data indicate that current abstraction is unsustainable, yet these large-scale interpretations lack the spatio-temporal resolution required to govern groundwater effectively.

Freshwater scarcity is increasingly perceived as a global systemic risk. Previous global water scarcity assessments, measuring water scarcity annually, have underestimated experienced water scarcity by failing to capture the seasonal fluctuations in water consumption and availability. We assess blue water scarcity globally at a high spatial resolution on a monthly basis. We find that two-thirds of the global population (4.0 billion people) live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year. Nearly half of those people live in India and China.

Runoff from snowmelt is regarded as a vital water source for people and ecosystems throughout the Northern Hemisphere (NH). Numerous studies point to the threat global warming poses to the timing and magnitude of snow accumulation and melt. But analyses focused on snow supply do not show where changes to snowmelt runoff are likely to present the most pressing adaptation challenges, given sub-annual patterns of human water consumption and water availability from rainfall.