The drying of the Arkavathy river: Hydrological change in a human-dominated watershed

The drying of the Arkavathy river: Hydrological change in a human-dominated watershed

18.07.2019, Thursday
ATREE Auditorium


Over the last 50 years, the Arkavathy watershed adjacent to Bangalore has been transformed by rapid urbanization, intensification of agriculture, and over-exploitation of water resources. The disappearance of streamflow in the watershed was largely overlooked by policy makers as Bangalore shifted from Arkavathy-sourced water supply to imported water and farmers from surface water to groundwater irrigation. With Bangalore continuing to expand its water footprint and local groundwater resources drying up, moving towards sustainable water resources management in the Arkavathy requires water accounting and overcoming the general absence of local hydrological records to develop an understanding of the changing hydrology of the watershed. In this talk, I will describe a multifaceted research approach to understand hydrological change, conducted in collaboration with ATREE as part of the ACCUWa project. We employed employing remote sensing, stakeholder engagement, and a variety of field research methods to understand the spatial patterns, physical processes, and drivers of hydrological change in the Arkavathy watershed.

About the speaker:

Dr. Gopal Penny's research seeks to monitor and attribute changes in rapidly evolving and heavily altered catchments, with a regional focus on South Asia. Gopal is interested in leveraging multiple techniques and observation platforms, including satellite data, unmanned air vehicles, field observations and econometric analysis to understand and attribute hydrologic change in data-scarce regions. Currently he focuses on the socio-hydrological effect of climatic, demographic and regulatory changes in the the Ganges and Indus basins. During his PhD at UC Berkeley, Gopal spent nearly a year at ATREE conducting field research studies on the Arkavathy in close conjunction with Dr. Veena Srinivasan and Dr. Sharad Lele.