The negative impacts of global change in climate will be further worsened at a local level by extensive land use, T.I. Eldho, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Bombay, has said.
He was delivering a talk at a two-day national symposium on ‘Hydrological impacts of climate change and land use change on water resources of river basins in Kerala’ organised by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM). The symposium concluded on Friday.
He said the land use change analysis showed a rapid increase in urban area in the last few years. The other changes were rise in plantations and reduction in agricultural land and forest in all river basins of Kerala. Owing to land use change, stream flow was found to be quickly draining into the sea, said Prof. Eldho, a specialist in water resources and environmental engineering.
He called for adopting some land use regulations to control the rapid expansion of the urban area to conserve and store water within the basin and also to reduce the impact of floods. The impact of projected rainfall and temperature data, up to 2100, under emission scenarios 4.5 and 8.5, showed a decrease in monsoon flow and increase in non-monsoon flow. This information could be utilised to adopt effective water management practices in an integrated manner, Prof. Eldho said.
P.P. Mujumdar, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc, Bangalore; A. Mahesha, Professor, Department of Water Resources and Ocean Engineering, National Institute of Technology(NIT), Surathkal, Karnataka; Balaji Naramsimham, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; S. Abhilash, Associate Professor, CUSAT; Roxy Mathew Koll, Scientist, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, and T.K. Drissia, Scientist, CWRDM, took part in the panel discussions and presented papers.
The panelists highlighted the need for an integrated monitoring system using automatic rain gauges and weather systems whose outputs needed to be easily disseminated to the public based on a GIS-based mobile app. They also recommended that management plans till 2040 be readied, as the evolving climate might lead to a different situation in the far future.
Earlier, Minister for Ports, Museums and Archaeology Ahammad Devarkovil inaugurated the programme.