Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32731
Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Basin of South India

Authors: K. Shimola, M. Krishnaveni


This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.

Keywords: Adaptive capacity, exposure, overlay analysis, sensitivity, vulnerability.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1066


[1] R. Heltberg, and B. M. Osmolovskiy “Mapping vulnerability to climate change”, The World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2011, pp. 5554.
[2] IPCC. Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability Climate change, Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, 2001, UK.
[3] S. Kienberger, S. Lang, and P. Zeil “Spatial vulnerability units – expert-based spatial modelling of socio-economic vulnerability in the Salzach catchment, Austria”. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci, 2009, 9, pp. 767-778.
[4] O’Brien, K. Leichenko, R. Kelkar, U. Venema, H. Aandahl, G. Tompkins, H. Javed, A. Bhadwal, S. Barg, L. Nygaard, and J. West, “Mapping vulnerability to multiple stressors: climate change and globalization in India”, Global Environ Chang,2004,14, pp. 303-313.
[5] B. Smit, and O. Pilifosova, “Adaptation to climate change in the context of sustainable development and equity, Climate Change 2001: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability”, Chapter 18, 2001, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[6] Subel, B. “Late monsoon brings fears of food shortages in Nepal”, The Khaleej times,2009.
[7] B. L. Turner, R. E. Kasperson, P. A. Matsone, J. J. McCarthy, R. W. Corellg, L. Christensene, N. Eckley, J. X. Kasperson, A. Luers, M. L. Martello, C. Polsky, A. Pulsipher, A. Schiller, “A Framework for Vulnerability Analysis in Sustainability Science”, ‎Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2003, 100(14), pp.8074-8079.
[8] UNDP. “Mapping climate change vulnerability and impact scenarios: A guidebook for sub-national planners”. 2010, New York: UNDP.
[9] UNEP. “Methodologies Guidelines - Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change”,2009, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi.
[10] R. P. D Walsh and D. M. Lawer, “Rainfall seasonality: Description, spatial patterns and Change through time”, Weather, 1981, 36, pp.20-208.