Climatic Change

, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 727–739 | Cite as

Climate change and adaptation: an integrated framework linking social and physical aspects in poorly-gauged regions

  • Sujata Manandhar
  • Vishnu Prasad Pandey
  • Futaba Kazama


Various frameworks related to climate change and adaptations that have been developed to date have notable benefits as well as significant limitations. It is not always practical to implement advanced climate change frameworks in situations with limited data availability. Social aspects, such as people’s experience and perception, are often under-prioritized. Therefore, this study introduces an integrated framework linking social and physical aspects of climate change to assess its impacts on water resources and to evaluate differing adaptation options in poorly gauged basins. A case study of the Kali Gandaki River Basin (KGRB) in western Nepal is presented to demonstrate the applicability of this framework. Results of the study show that people of the mountainous Mustang district in the KGRB have perceived climate change or climate variability, its impacts on water resources, as well as other water-related issues and potential adaptations or responses. Furthermore, evaluation of people’s perception using available physical data confirms the increase in temperature and average annual discharge in the Kali Gandaki River as well as poor water use, as a major problem at all levels in the basin. Despite increasing water availability, a concurrent increase in water use is difficult due to topographic constraints on irrigation development. However, the impacts of climate change are particularly severe in Mustang, owing to the fact that a large proportion of the population depends on a climate-sensitive livelihood like agriculture. Therefore, various adaptation options are identified in the agricultural sector, and one relevant option is further evaluated. The framework developed in this study has the potential to be further applied to other poorly gauged basins.


Climate Change Climate Change Impact Climate Change Adaptation Adaptation Option Climate Change Impact Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to express our sincere gratitude to MEXT and Global Centre of Excellence (GCOE) Program-University of Yamanashi for providing the opportunity to conduct this study.

Supplementary material

10584_2013_842_MOESM1_ESM.docx (160 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 159 kb)


  1. Balete M (2011) Local peoples’ perception on climate change, its impact and adaptation measures in Simada Wareda of South Gondar. Master’s thesis, Addis Ababa University. Available at: Accesed 25 Jun 2011
  2. Berkhout F, Hertin J, Gann DM (2006) Learning to adapt: organisational adaptation to climate change impacts. Clim Chang 78:135–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Byg A, Salick J (2009) Local perspectives on a global phenomenon—climate change in Eastern Tibetan villages. Glob Environ Chang 19(2):156–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cai YP, Huang GH, Tan Q, Yang ZF (2011) An integrated approach for climate-change impact analysis and adaptation planning under multi-level uncertainties. Part I: Methodology. Renew and Sustain Energy Rev 15:2779–2790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS)-Baglung (2009) District profile-Mustang. CBS-Baglung, NepalGoogle Scholar
  6. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) (2004) National Sample Census of Agriculture, Nepal 2001/2002- district summary. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  7. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) (2008) Environmental statistics of Nepal. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  8. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) (2009) Statistical year book of Nepal. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  9. Conway D, Schipper EL (2011) Adaptation to climate change in Africa: challenges and opportunities identified from Ethiopia. Glob Environ Chang 21:227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Danielsen F, Burgess ND, Balmford A (2005) Monitoring matters: examining the potential of locally-based approaches. Biodivers Conserv 14:2507–2542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) (2010) Daily time series of precipitation, temperature and discharge from various hydro-meteorological stations. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  12. Department of Irrigation (DOI) (2009) Working plan, programs and regional statistics. Western Regional Irrigation Directorate, Pokhara, NepalGoogle Scholar
  13. Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) (2008, 2010) District water supply and sanitation profile. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  14. Deressa TT, Hassan RM, Ringler C, Alemu T, Yesuf M (2009) Determinants of farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Glob Environ Chang 19:248–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dessai S, Adger WN, Hulme M, Turnpenny J, Kohler J, Warren R (2004) Defining and experiencing dangerous climate change. Clim Chang 64:11–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dessai S, Hulme M (2004) Does climate adaptation policy need probabilities? Clim Policy 4:107–128Google Scholar
  17. District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) – Mustang (2009) Yearly agriculture development program and statistical report—2009. DADO-Mustang, NepalGoogle Scholar
  18. FAO (1976) A framework for land evaluation. FAO Soils Bull 32Google Scholar
  19. FAO (1995) The digital soil map of the world Version 3.5, completed 3 March, 1995Google Scholar
  20. FAO/IIASA/ISRIC/ISSCAS/JRC (2009) Harmonized World Soil Database (version 1.1). FAO, Italy and IIASA, Austria. Available at: Accessed 3 Jun 2011
  21. Fruit Development Directorate (FDD) (2011) Annual progress report 2009/2010- Horticulture Development Program. Fruit Development Directorate, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  22. Hallegatte S (2009) Strategies to adapt to an uncertain climate change. Glob Environ Chang 19:240–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hofmann ME, Hinkel J, Wrobel M (2011) Classifying knowledge on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability in Europe for informing adaptation research and decision-making: a conceptual meta-analysis. Glob Environ Chang 21:1106–1116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. International Center for Integrated Mountain Research and Development (ICIMOD) (2012) Mountain GeoPortal downloads- GIS Datasets of Nepal 1:250,000. Available at: Accessed 15 Mar 2012
  25. ICIMOD and Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) (2003) Districts of Nepal, indicators of development. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  26. Carter TR, Parry ML, Harasawa H, Nishioka S (1994) IPCC technical guidelines for assessing climate change impacts and adaptations. University College London, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. IPCC (2011) 30-Year means of the CRU data. Available at: Accessed 6 Jun 2011
  28. Jarvis A, Reuter HI, Nelson A, Guevara E (2008) Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Available at: Accessed 2 Jun 2011
  29. Jones RN, Preston BL (2011) Adaptation and risk management. WIREs Clim Change 2(2):296–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kalaugher E, Bornman JF, Clark A, Beukes P (2012) An integrated biophysical and socio-economic framework for analysis of climate change adaptation strategies: the case of a New Zealand dairy farming system. Environ Model Softw. doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.03.018 Google Scholar
  31. Kuruppu N, Liverman D (2011) Mental preparation for climate adaptation: the role of cognition and culture in enhancing adaptive capacity of water management in Kirabati. Glob Environ Chang 21:657–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lioubimtseva E, Henebry GM (2009) Climate and environmental change in arid Central Asia: impacts, vulnerability and adaptations. J Arid Environ 73:963–977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mananadhar S, Vogt DS, Perret SR, Kazama F (2011) Adapting cropping systems to climate change in Nepal: a cross-regional study of farmers’ perception and practices. Reg Environ Chang 11:335–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Manandhar S, Pandey VP, Ishidaira H, Kazama F (2012a) Perturbation study of climate change impacts in a snow-fed river basin. Hydrol Process. doi: 10.1002/hyp.9446 Google Scholar
  35. Manandhar S, Pandey VP, Kazama F (2012b) Hydro-climatic trends and peoples’ perceptions: a case study of Kali Gandaki River Basin (KGRB), Nepal. Clim Res 54:167–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Manandhar S, Pandey VP, Kazama F (2012c) Application of Water Poverty Index (WPI) in Nepalese context: a case study of Kali Gandaki River Basin (KGRB). Water Res Manag 26(1):89–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. National Land Use Project (NLUP) (2012) GIS maps of Mustang district. Ministry of Land Reform and Management. Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  38. Nepal Trust for Nature Conservation, United Nations Environment Programme (2008) Sustainable development plan of Mustang 2008–2013. National Trust for Nature Conservation, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  39. Pandey VP, Babel MS, Kazama F (2009) Analysis of a Nepalese water resources system: stress, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Water Sci Technol: Water Supply 9(2):213–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pandey VP, Manandhar S, Kazama F (2012) Water poverty situation of medium-sized river basins in Nepal. Water Res Manag 26:2475–2489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stern N (2007) Stern review: the economics of climate change. Available at Accessed 25 May 2012
  42. Sugiura T, Yokozawa M (2004) Impact of global warming on environments for apple and Satsuma mandarin production estimated from changes of the annual mean temperature. J of Jpn Soc of Hortic Sci 73(1):72–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tucker CJ, Pinzon JE, Brown ME, Slayback D, Pak EW, Mahoney R, Vermote E, Saleous NE (2005) An extended AVHRR 8-km NDVI data set compatible with MODIS and SPOT vegetation NDVI data. Int J Remote Sens 26(20):4485–5598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. United States Geological Survey (USGS) (2011) Global land cover characteristics data base version 2.0Google Scholar
  45. Vedwan N, Rhoades RE (2001) Climate change in the Western Himalayas of India: a study of local perception and response. Clim Res 19:109–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang X, Yang F (2004) RClimDex (1.0) user manual, Climate research branch, Environment Canada, Ontario, CanadaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujata Manandhar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vishnu Prasad Pandey
    • 1
    • 3
  • Futaba Kazama
    • 1
  1. 1.International Research Center for River Basin Environment (ICRE)University of YamanashiKofuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM)LalitpurNepal

Personalised recommendations