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Thursday 23 May 2019Climate Change Impacts on Hydrology, Water Resources and Water Use Sectors: Cases from Asian Countries

Professor Mukand Babel - Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Laver LT3 10:30-11:30


Climate change is expected to have multiple impacts on water sector through alteration in climatic variables, sea level rise, hydrologic cycle, water availability, and its spatial and temporal distribution, water demand/use for various economic activities, frequency of extreme hydrologic events, water quality affecting its uses, and ecosystems as a whole.

This presentation highlights global and regional perspective as well as local insight of climate change impacts on hydrology and water resources, including erosion and sediment, and on water use sectors, namely municipal, agriculture and irrigation, hydropower etc. The studies at basin level used downscaled climate data from multiple GCM/RCM for different IPCC emission scenarios, and various tools to assess the impacts in different Asian countries. These research projects include:

1. Assessment of future climate and its impact on:

(a) Hydrology and water resources in Kabul Basin, Afghanistan; Nam Ou Basin, Lao PDR; Bagmati, Tamakoshi and Koshi Basins, Nepal; Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan; Ping, Mae Klong and Pak Phanang Basins, Thailand; and Ba River Basin and South Central Coast, Vietnam;

(b) Snow cover in Tamakoshi Basin, Nepal;

(c) Urban flooding in Bangkok, Thailand;

(d) Water quality in Saigon River System, Vietnam;

(e) Soil erosion and sediment in Nam Ou Basin, Lao PDR; and Upper Nan Watershed, Thailand.

2. Assessment of impact on future municipal water demand in Bangkok, Thailand.

3. Assessment of impact on rice yield in Chi-Mun Basin, Thailand; maize yield in Sikkim, India; and maize yield in wet and dry agro-ecological zones, Uganda.

4. Assessment on irrigation water demand in Citarum Basin, Indonesia; Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan and in Mae Klong River Basin, Thailand.

5. Assessment of impacts on hydropower in Wangchu Basin, Bhutan; Dudhkoshi Basin, Nepal; Jhelum Basin, Pakistan; and Mae Klong Basin, Thailand.

The key challenges from research and application/policy perspectives are also presented for discussion.

KEY WORDS: Climate change, Hydrology, Water resources, Sediment, Impacts, Water use sectors


Dr. Mukand S. Babel is a Professor of Water Engineering and Management at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. In addition, he is leading the Climate Change Asia (CCA) initiative at AIT for Catalyzing Capacity for Action to address climate change issues in the region. He was the Chair of Academic Senate of AIT. He has been Visiting/Honorary Professor at several universities/institutes in the region including University of Exeter (2018-2021), Kyoto University (Dec 2012-Mar 2013), University Teknologi Mara, Malaysia (Aug 2013-Jul 2015) and Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad, India (Nov 2014-Oct 2019). Prof. Babel’s professional experience in teaching, research and consultancy spans over 30 years in Asia. He teaches graduate level courses on Watershed Hydrology, Hydrologic and Water Resources Modeling, Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Supply and Sanitation.

In 2014, He was appointed as a Member of the Advisory Committee of the World Water Quality Assessment, an initiative of UN-Water Group led by UNEP and GEMS/Water. In 2014 he was appointed as a Member of the Executive Committee, Asia Pacific Division (APD) of International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) for two years (2015-16). In 2015, he was elected as one of Directors of the Executive Board of International Water Resources Association (IWRA) for three years (2016-18). In 2016, he was appointed as a Board Member of the Asian Water Council (AWC) representing AIT. He was a recipient of the 2018 International Award by the Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources.

Dr. Babel has supervised 26 doctoral and 185 master theses covering diverse areas of hydrology and water resources. Currently there are 07 doctoral and 10 master thesis students working under his supervision. With over 250 publications in international refereed journals, books (including one on Climate Change and Water Resources), and book chapters and conference proceedings, he currently conducts interdisciplinary research relating hydrology and water resources with economic, environmental and socioeconomic aspects of water to address diverse water problems and issues including climate change impact and adaptation in water sector. His h-index is 25 with 2147 citations as of 16 May 2019.

Dr. Babel carried out many research and sponsored projects in collaboration with international organizations and governments including Thailand Research Fund (TRF); CGIAR-WLE Program; Dutch Government; CIDA; The World Bank; FAO; UNESCO-IHE; UNU; ADB; DANIDA, ICH, Norway and NEF, Japan; GWP, Sweden; UN-DESA; ASCE; UNESCO; UNEP; IGES, Japan; APN, Japan; UCC-Water, Denmark; Govt. of Thailand; Govt. of Indonesia; Govt. of Nepal; Govt. of Bhutan; and ICAR, Govt. of India, as well as with respected universities, such as Konkuk University, South Korea; Oregon State University, USA; Tohoku University, Japan; and University of Tokyo, Japan.

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