Assessment of climate change impact on water diversion strategies of Melamchi Water Supply Project in Nepal
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This paper analyzes the climate change impact on water diversion plan of Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP) in Nepal. The MWSP is an interbasin water transfer project aimed at diverting water from the Melamchi River of the Indrawati River basin to Kathmandu Valley for drinking water purpose. Future temperature and precipitation of the basin were predicted using the outputs of two regional climate models (RCMs) and two general circulation models (GCMs) under two representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios which were then used as inputs to Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to predict the water availability and evaluate the water diversion strategies in the future. The average temperature of the basin is projected to increase by 2.35 to 4.25 °C under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, respectively, by 2085s. The average precipitation in the basin is projected to increase by 6–18 % in the future. The annual water availability is projected to increase in the future; however, the variability is observed in monthly water availability in the basin. The water supply and demand scenarios of Kathmandu Valley was also examined by considering the population increase, unaccounted for water and water diversion from MWSP in the future. It is observed that even with the additional supply of water from MWSP and reduction of unaccounted for water, the Kathmandu Valley will be still under water scarcity in the future. The findings of this study can be helpful to formulate water supply and demand management strategies in Kathmandu Valley in the context of climate change in the future.
KeywordsWater Demand Representative Concentration Pathway Asian Development Bank Demand Scenario Kathmandu Valley
The authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) Nepal for providing the weather and discharge data of the study area.
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