The basic approach of the HighNoon project is to link the results of improved climate modelling to the estimation of practical and applicable adaptation measures in four different case studies.
There is an increasing awareness that adaptation measures should not only be developed individual sectors parameters but that a more integrated approach is necessary. To do this the HighNoon project will address a selection of relevant sectors and investigate potential measures at all relevant scales. Not only the impact on the water security dimension (quantity and quality) will be studied, but also impacts socio economic issues, health ecosystems and in particular to the adaptive capacity will be incorporated in our analyses.
Figure: Consideration and integration of relevant dimensions in the development of adaptation measures
The complexity of the situation in Northern India and the amount of knowledge gaps, requires at this stage an implicit consideration of Health and Ecosystem status. These sectors will be considered as boundary conditions, and results of potential measures in the sectors water supply, hydropower and agriculture will be investigated on their impact correspondingly. However, accompanying measures in the field of health development, and ecosystem protection will be encountered during the participative elaboration of measures and considered in the summary of recommendations.
The entire North West of India will be significantly affected by the impacts the climate change (TERI, 2003). In this context, the Ganga basin was selected as the main river basin for this project. The Ganga was selected because it’s river flows are significantly affected by changes in snowfall patterns and glacial melting in the Himalaya region and by rainfall of the south Asian monsoon. In addition, this is a river providing significant water resources to several Indian states and Nepal and Bangladesh. Results of the project will reach a particular international interest. Also water from this basin is important for all major sectors: power generation, agriculture and domestic water supply. In addition further worsening of the water quality situation in the river will have a major impact of human health and ecosystem functioning.
The political dimension of the transboundary river makes data availability a sensitive issue and there is still significant missing knowledge on the impact of climate change on the actual water resources. Therefore all case studies were selected by the fact that substantial hydrological and socio-economic data are or can be made available. In addition the consortium has significant additional amount of data from Ganga basin available, which will help to support the validation of model results.
Figure: Case Studies
The participative development of adaptation measures will be developed in four case studies. The review of adaptation measures will follow in principle the structure as described in TERI (2003). Horizontal analyses of the interaction of measures and their potential impact on the entire basin will be performed by addressing (i) the biophysical vulnerability, (ii) the social vulnerability, and (iii) the technological vulnerability.
The approach of the HighNoon project takes into consideration that complex and more theoretical concepts are less helpful for increasing the implementation of adaptation measures. Therefore for each area, potential specific measures are already identified and their impact and applicability will be investigated in a participative way. Using innovative methods to support the prioritization of measures for the case studies selected, will also help to address the water resources allocation amongst the different states and countries of the Ganga basin.