IIT, Mumbai, IASc Associate: 2018 (Engineering)
Session 2B Lectures by Fellows/Associates
On the use of hydrological models to estimate future surface water availability
Water resources support crucial activities of the coupled human-natural system ranging from habitat maintenance to food production. The complex nature of hydrological processes and our inability to measure all relevant fluxes across space and time necessitates the use of models that combine our conceptual understanding of the system with observed data. Hydrological models enable water resources planning as well as testing hypotheses concerning the functioning of river basins. They are ubiquitous in water-related decision making, especially when decision-makers need to quantify future water availability under a changing climate. Broadly two issues arise when using hydrologic models to quantify future water availability. First, there are considerable uncertainties regarding climate change, which translate to high uncertainties in future estimates of water resources. Second, climate change may alter the hydrologic response characteristics of river basins that are typically assumed static in models. Here, I will present modelling frameworks that address these concerns related to large uncertainties and model representativeness in a changing climate.