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Prediction of land use changes based on Land Change Modeler and attribution of changes in the water balance of Ganga basin to land use change using the SWAT model

Anand, Jatin, Gosain, A.K., Khosa, R.
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.644 pp. 503-519
Soil and Water Assessment Tool model, basins, climate, commercialization, crops, decision making, evapotranspiration, irrigation, land use change, meteorological data, prediction, rivers, runoff, shifting cultivation, stream flow, urbanization, water yield, watersheds, India
Conflicts between increasing irrigated agricultural area, commercial crops, shifting cultivation and ever increasing domestic and industrial demand has already been a cause of tension in the society over water in the Ganga River Basin, India. For the development of sustainable water resource strategies, it is essential to establish interaction between landuse changes and local hydrology through proper assessment. Precisely, seeing how change in each LULC affects hydrologic regimes, or conversely evaluating which LULC shall be appropriate for the local hydrological regime can help decision makers to incorporate in the policy instruments. In this study, hydrologic regimes of the Ganga River basin have been assessed with landuse change. Catchment hydrologic responses were simulated using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Meteorological data from IMD of 0.25° × 0.25° spatial resolution were taken as the climate inputs. Simulated stream flow was compared at different gauge stations distributed across the Gang River and its tributaries. Urbanization has been the topmost contributor to the increase in surface runoff and water yield. While increased irrigation demands were the dominant contributor to the water consumption and also added to the increased evapotranspiration. This study can be important tool in quantifying the changes in hydrological components in response to changes made in landuse in especially basins undergoing rapid commercialization. This shall provide substantive information to the decision makers required to develop ameliorative strategies.