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The Ganges drainage basin: Hydrological transitions due to anthropogenic water use.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Hydrological changes in catchments world over have affected regional climate and pose serious challenge to future water resource management. The Ganges drainage basin (GDB) is one such region which has undergone rapid transformation in land and water use, more specifically in the latter half of 20th century. GDB has a population of more than half a billion people and is spread across India, China (Tibet), Nepal and Bangladesh. Further, hydrological investigations accounting land and water use changes in GDB are rare. This study is an attempt to resolve hydrological changes in the Ganges basin using the fundamental water balance, focusing particularly on water use changes through irrigation. Between the period 1951-1959 and 1991- 2000, precipitation (P) in the Ganges basin has reduced by 11.25 % while evapotranspiration (ET) has only reduced by 3.61 %. In addition, the ET/P has increased from 0.483 to 0.525 during the same period suggesting a larger partitioning of P towards ET. This suggests greater utilization of P to release water vapor in the atmosphere and thus causing a reduced water flow downstream. With water availability at the fulcrum of future concern for regional and national water security, these findings should encourage policy makers to account for hydrological changes in the GDB in planning sustainable water use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; 2014:20
Keyword [en]
Irrigation; Precipitation; Evapotranspiration
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-171775OAI: diva2:844475
Educational program
Degree of Master - Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-06 Last updated: 2015-08-11Bibliographically approved

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