Adapting to Climate Change in Urbanizing Watersheds
Water scarcity and water-related vulnerability are widespread in the Indian sub-continent. Climate change is likely to increase climate variability, further aggravating water-related stresses, especially for marginalized groups. The process of rapid urbanization poses additional challenges to communities and water managers as it brings increasing competition for scarce water resources. This research project will focus on two rapidly urbanizing watersheds - the Arkavathy sub-basin in southern India and the Darjeeling watershed in the northeast. It aims to understand the impact of climate change on the quality and quantity of water accessible for different water users in these areas. The project will also investigate the household and institutional factors that shape vulnerability, short-term coping mechanisms, and adaptation strategies. The research focuses on water users' priorities and seeks to integrate detailed biophysical research with an understanding of how they will experience climate change impacts. A participatory Web-based simulation model will be used to generate knowledge of these impacts. Research results will be shared through peer-reviewed publications, critical policy engagement, and a summer institute for researchers and civil society groups in South Asia. This project is funded through IDRC's Adaptation Research Initiative in Asia (ARI-Asia) with funds from the Government of Canada's fast-start financing.