WP 3 – Regional and national socio-economic dynamics

This workpackage is dedicated to the development of realistic socio-economic boundary conditions at the regional scale derived from consistent scenarios and to assess how these socio-economic boundary conditions influence current en future water resources availability and use. Those boundary conditions will be used for planning of adaptation measures in WP6.

India is a rapidly changing country. Not only the timing and amount of precipitation and river discharge will change because of a changing climate altering the supply of water (as assessed in WP1 and WP2), but also the demand will change as a result of  ongoing and projected socio economic changes that will cause changes in water use. Their combined effect will determine the stress on available water resources. With expected development changes in demography, industrialisation, and intensification in agriculture the estimation of future socio-economic boundary conditions is a critical factor in water resources assessments. It is important to evaluate these socio economic changes and associated water use projections to be able to get a complete picture of the most vulnerable areas and to assign the best locations for (combinations of) adaptation measures.

On a global scale climate and socio-economic scenarios are developed and updated in an consistent way, using integrated assessment models like IMAGE (Bouwman et al., 2006), (Strengers et al., 2004). However, on a more regional level, the development of such consistent scenarios is still in an experimental phase. Socioeconomic scenarios at national level for India are developed and will be expanded to include scenarios on demographics, water, agriculture, energy and health. In present day water management, true integration of climate and socio-economic driving forces is still lacking.

The global models and results do not contain enough detail to relate directly to needs and wishes of stakeholders involved in water resources management at the catchment scale, where adaptation takes place. On the other hand, scenarios developed on a more regional level often lack the consistency and context of larger scale trends. To overcome this, we will bring together the local scenarios in a larger context and develop a method that offers more geographical and management detail through a nested approach.

This will enable us to switch in level of detail between scales; preserving the consistency of global scenarios but at the same time linking to local/regional needs.

Within this WP related information is given on potential socio-economic scenarios, where possible together with their range of uncertainty. This information will be used within WP6 as boundary conditions for adaptation measures. In the following phase of this WP, information from WP6 on sets of adaptation measures will be used to investigate feedback effects on potential socio-economic developments and to evaluate the sustainability of the adaptation measures within the socio-economic scenario. The socioeconomic scenarios developed for India at the district level as part of the DEFRA phase I study on Impacts of Climate Change, will be expanded. This produces improved scenarios on demographics, water, agriculture, energy and health at a relatively small scale.

Figure: Linkages  between WP3 and WP6. Use of a nested approach to assure consistency amongst scales.