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Impact of city expansion on hydrological regime of Rispana Watershed, Dehradun, India

Abstract

Rispana River flows through the heart of Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand State, India. Uttarakhand had separated from Uttar Pradesh State in the year 2000; since then, Dehradun City has witnessed numerous changes. Both urban sprawl and densification were noticed, with around a 32% increase in population. The city had faced recurrent high runoff and urban flood situations in these last 2 decades. Therefore, the study was conducted to detect the change in land use/land cover (LULC), especially urbanization, through remote sensing data; and later to determine the impacts of such changes on the Rispana watershed hydrology. The LULC maps for the year 2003 and the 2017 were generated through supervised classification technique using the Landsat Series satellite datasets. The LULC change analysis depicted that mainly the urban settlement class increased with significant area among other classes from the year 2003–2017. It was noticed that majorly agriculture and fallow land (8.18 km2, which is 13.52% of total watershed area) converted to urban, increasing the impervious area. Almost all the municipal wards, falling in the Rispana watershed, showed urbanization during the said period, with an increase of as high as 71%. The change in LULC or effect of urbanization on the hydrological response of the watershed was assessed using the most widely used Natural Resources Conservation Services Curve Number method. It was noticed that the area under moderated runoff potential (approx. 10.23 km2) steeply increased during the lean season, whereas, high runoff potential zones (5 km2) increased significantly under wet season. Therefore, it was concluded that an increase in impervious surface resulted in high runoff generation. Further, such LULC change along with climate might lead to high runoff within the watershed, which the present storm drainage network could not withstand. The situation generally led to urban floods and affected urban dwellers regularly. Therefore, it is critical to assess the hydrological impacts of LULC change for land use planning and water resource management. Furthermore, under the smart city project, the local government has various plans to improve present infrastructure; therefore, it becomes necessary to incorporate such observations in the policies.

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Data availability

The source of each data used is mentioned in the manuscript. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Garg, V., Anand, A. Impact of city expansion on hydrological regime of Rispana Watershed, Dehradun, India. GeoJournal (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-022-10695-4

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Keywords

  • Rispana Watershed
  • LULC change detection
  • Urbanization
  • Hydrological response
  • NRCS-CN method