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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.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bhim Adhikari
Total Funding
CA$ 1,499,300.00
Climate Change
Institution Country
Project Leader
Dr. Sharachchandra Lélé
The Trustees of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)



Climate vulnerability and adaptation of water provisioning in developing countries : approaches to disciplinary and research-practice integration


Water management in the Arkavathy basin : a situational analysis