Assessing the impacts of climate change and socio-economic changes on flow and phosphorus flux in the Ganga river system

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change has impacted and will continue to impact the natural environment and people around the world. Increasing temperatures and altered rainfall patterns combined with socio-economic factors such as population changes, land use changes and water transfers will affect flows and nutrient fluxes in river systems. The Ganga river, one of the largest river systems in the world, supports approximately 10% global population and more than 700 cities. Changes in the Ganga river system are likely to have a significant impact on water availability, water quality, aquatic habitats and people. In order to investigate these potential changes on the flow and water quality of the Ganga river, a multi-branch version of INCA Phosphorus (INCA-P) model has been applied to the entire river system. The model is used to quantify the impacts from a changing climate, population growth, additional agricultural land, pollution control and water transfers for 2041-2060 and 2080-2099. The results provide valuable information about potential effects of different management strategies on catchment water quality.

Citation

Jin, L.; Whitehead, P.G.; Sarkar, S.; Sinha, R.; Futter, M.N.; Butterfield, D.; Caesar, J.; Crossman, J. Assessing the impacts of climate change and socio-economic changes on flow and phosphorus flux in the Ganga river system. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts (2015) 17 (6) 1098-1110. [DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00092K]

Assessing the impacts of climate change and socio-economic changes on flow and phosphorus flux in the Ganga river system

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