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Contribution of Snow and Glacier in Hydropower Potential and Its Response to Climate Change

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Water Security in Asia

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Abstract

Hydropower development is considered as backbone of economic water security in context of Nepal. Most of the rivers originate from high mountains and are considered as snow fed rivers. Hence the impact of climate change on snow and glacier affects such rivers. In this study, snow and glacier are delineated from LANDSAT TM7 image by ERDAS IMAGINE and melt discharge is estimated by Energy Budget Method (EBM) along with the conceptual TANK model. Runoff generated from the watershed along with precipitation in non-glacerised area are given as inputs to HEC-HMS for simulating discharge of the whole basin. The significance of snow and glacier melt contribution at different downstream stations is assessed. Finally, future precipitation and temperature data obtained using AR5 scenario is used to assess the significance of climate change in river flow. From the analysis it is found that Koshi basin (1.62%) is covered by larger areas of glacier than that of the Mahakali basin (1.16%). The maximum contribution of snow and glacier in Koshi at Chatara and Mahakali at Chameliya are 12.02% and 17.35% respectively. While analysing the effect of climate change on the hydropower potential for storage project, it is observed that most of the sub-basins will have decreased volume of annual flow in 2030 A.D., but that will increase in 2050 A.D. There will be an increase in flow volume in Mahakali in the year 2030 A.D. and 2050 A.D. But for RoR project designed at Q40 flow volume will increase in both 2030 A.D. and 2050 A.D. in Koshi and Mahakali basin.

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References

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Nepal Academy of Science and Technology and Department of Civil Engineering, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. The authors are grateful to DHM for providing data and information.

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Correspondence to N. M. Shakya .

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Chhetri, R.B., Shakya, N.M., Sitoula, N.R. (2021). Contribution of Snow and Glacier in Hydropower Potential and Its Response to Climate Change. In: Babel, M., Haarstrick, A., Ribbe, L., Shinde, V.R., Dichtl, N. (eds) Water Security in Asia. Springer Water. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54612-4_16

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