- Events: Collaborative working between Indian and UK partners continued across the three SWR projects, involving activities such as fieldwork, modelling and stakeholder engagement. In April 2018, the third UPSCAPE consortium meeting, and in September 2018, the third CHANSE consortium meeting, were held, both at IISc, Bangalore. The CHANSE UK team hosted researchers from CHANSE-India at Exeter University (February 2018) and Imperial College (June 2018). A SusHi-Wat MSc student from Heriot-Watt University made a 3-month exchange visit (June-September 2018) to IIT-Roorkee and NIT-Hamirpur to work on the field irrigation water demand and scheduling studies.
- Fieldwork: SusHi-Wat successfully conducted field crop experiments (soil moisture and canopy temperature measurements) on Indian mustard and has now moved onto maize. Other SusHi-Wat fieldwork focused on macro-invertebrate sampling to improve understanding of the link between ecosystem service delivery and water utilisation, and the collection of data on cultural ecosystem services. UPSCAPE field campaigns included geological mapping and hydrochemical/tracer studies which have informed conceptual models of the Cauvery basin and subcatchment hydrogeology, and borehole water level analyses which have been used to develop a yield map for the Cauvery basin. Other UPSCAPE fieldwork and modelling (SWAT) examined water use under different cropping patterns as part of a command area optimisation study. CHANSE drilled monitoring boreholes and installed surface and groundwater monitoring equipment in canals and the new boreholes. CHANSE’s field data collection programme included pre-monsoon hydro-meteorological and hydro-geological data including water samples, and ecological data.
- Modelling: Validated hydrological models for the Beas-Sutlej basin (SWAT and VIC, SusHi-Wat) and the Cauvery basin (GWAVA and VIC, UPSCAPE) provide baselines for future hydrological projections based on climate and socio-economic scenarios. The AMBHAS-1D groundwater model was implemented within the GWAVA water resources model in UPSCAPE and fully linked with the VIC hydrological model in CHANSE. CHANSE has developed a spatially distributed socio-hydrological model for the Gandak basin, and strengthened it with the AquaCropOS module. CHANSE made progress with the systems modelling framework, ecological model development and link with the climate simulations. CHANSE also received an additional grant to implement the modelling framework as an online open source platform. Sushi-Wat generated high resolution, accurate weather data for a baseline period (1980-2005) by dynamically downscaling from two coarse-scale CMIP5 GCM simulations and appropriately bias-correced. A whole-system model for use by the Bhakra-Beas Management Board (BBMB) and other relevant stakeholders to better manage water resources was developed and demonstrated on-site in Chandigarh by SusHi-Wat. Multi-reservoir, multi-purpose operation tools for reservoirs in the basin have been developed to improve absorption of any climate change shocks.
- Stakeholder engagement: In April 2018, UPSCAPE carried out stakeholder engagement events in Bangalore, Karnataka, and in Tiruchirappalli and Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In total, the events engaged 56 stakeholders from 22 organisations representing state governmental departments, national governmental agencies, educational institutes and non-governmental organisations within the Cauvery basin, to construct narratives of the potential socio-economic futures. The facilitated discussions identified seven socio-economic drivers of hydrological change (population, urbanisation, policy, technology, agriculture, industry/energy, and environment), and discussed how these drivers may vary to create ‘best-case’, ‘middle of the road’ and ‘worst-case’ futures for water resources. The results will be used to inform the quantification of water resources demands and their trajectories across the basin over time, otherwise referred to as ‘regionally downscaled socio-economic futures’. The socio-economic projections will be combined with climatic projections to understand the future water resources challenges in the Cauvery basin. The UPSCAPE flier was reproduced in simple English, Kannada and Tamil to improve communication with local stakeholders.
- Food-energy-ecosystem services nexus: Assessments of water resources for food, energy and ecosystem services have commenced across the three projects, and outputs are being presented as journal and conference papers by Indian and UK partners.