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Mapping groundwater resiliency under climate change scenarios: a case study of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

  • Shrestha, S.
  • Neupane, S.
  • Mohanasundaram, S.
  • Pandey, Vishnu P.
Publication Date
Jan 17, 2020


Groundwater resources of Kathmandu Valley in Nepal are under immense pressure from multiple stresses, including climate change. Due to over-extraction, groundwater resources are depleting, leading to social, environmental and economic problems. Climate change might add additional pressure by altering groundwater recharge rates and availability of groundwater. Mapping groundwater resilience to climate change can aid in understanding the dynamics of groundwater systems, facilitating the development of strategies for sustainable groundwater management. Therefore, this study aims to analyse the impact of climate change on groundwater resources and mapping the groundwater resiliency of Kathmandu Valley under different climate change scenarios. The future climate projected using the climate data of RCM's namely ACCESS-CSIRO-CCAM, CNRM-CM5- CSIRO-CCAM and MPI-ESM-LR-CSIRO-CCAM for three future periods: near future (2010–2039), mid future (2040–2069) and far future (2070–2099) under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios were bias corrected and fed into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a hydrological model, to estimate future groundwater recharge. The results showed a decrease in groundwater recharge in future ranging from 3.3 to 50.7 mm/yr under RCP 4.5 and 19–102.1 mm/yr under RCP 8.5 scenario. The GMS-MODFLOW model was employed to estimate the future groundwater level of Kathmandu Valley. The model revealed that the groundwater level is expected to decrease in future. Based on the results, a groundwater resiliency map of Kathmandu Valley was developed. The results suggest that groundwater in the northern and southern area of the valley are highly resilient to climate change compared to the central area. The results will be very useful in the formulation and implementation of adaptation strategies to offset the negative impacts of climate change on the groundwater resources of Kathmandu Valley. / Peer Review

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