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Journal of Water Resource Engineering and Management

ISSN: 2349-4336(online)
Volume 3, Issue 1
www.stmjournals.com

Impact of Climate Change on Rainfall Pattern


and Reservoir Level
Udayashankara T.H., Sadashiva Murthy B.M., Madhukar M.*
Department of Environmental Engineering, Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering,
Mysore, Karnataka, India
Abstract
Climate change is change in weather pattern for a significantly long period. One of the major
impacts of climate change is variation in rainfall pattern which directly or indirectly affects
the regional water sources which are rain fed/recharged. In the present paper, an attempt is
made to present the impacts of climate change on rainfall pattern (20042010) and reservoir
level (20142015) in Karnataka. Change in the rainfall pattern in a year has also been
presented by considering Mysore as the study area. There was a clear indication of climate
change in Mysore region, observed by peak monthly rainfall shifting from 2nd to 3rd month
and 10th to 11th month of 2008 and 2010, respectively. From the present study, it is evident
that the climate change has impacted the rainfall pattern as well as the reservoir levels.
Hence, a significant impact of climate change on natural hydrological cycle prevails in this
region.
Keywords: Climate change, rainfall, reservoir, Mysore, Karnataka

*Author for Correspondence E-mail: madhukar.m2013@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION
Climate change can be defined as the change
in the weather patterns in a particular region or
global scale, for a significantly long period say
decades to millions of years. The changes may
be noticeable, like change in average weather
conditions or change in the statistical
distribution of weather events. The weather
conditions refer to ambient temperature and
pollutant concentration; weather events refer
to rainfall, snowfall, water vapor etc. [1].
According to intergovernmental panel on
climate change (IPCC), climate change is
postulated as state of change in the climatic
conditions that is identified (e.g. using
statistical tests) as changes in the mean and/or
the variability of its properties, that persists for
an extended period, typically decades or
longer. It refers to any change in climate over
time, whether due to natural variability or as a
result of human activity.
Similarly,
UNFCCC
(United
Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change),
defines the term climate change as change of
climate that is attributed directly or indirectly
to human activity that varies the composition
of the global atmosphere and that is in addition

to natural climate variability observed over


significant time period [2].
One of the major impacts of climate change is
variation in rainfall pattern which directly or
indirectly affects the regional water sources
which are rain fed/recharged. Water supply is
done through utilization of the available fresh
water resources to meet the various demands
(Residential, Institutional, Industrial and
Agricultural). The implications of climate
change on water resources can be one of the
biggest risks on ensuring uninterrupted water
supply which is the only stressor that can
adversely impact on the wellbeing of humans
[3, 4]. In Karnataka, there are seven major
river systems (Krishna, Cauvery, Godavari,
West Flowing Rivers, North Pennar, South
Pennar and Palar) utilized for supplying the
fresh water for various activities. Utilization of
water in the west flowing rivers is hampered
due to difficulties in construction of large
storage reservoirs. Yield in the seven river
basins is estimated at 3418 TMC at 50%
dependability and 2934 TMC at 75%
dependability. Yield in the six basins
(excluding west flowing rivers) is estimated at
1396 TMC at 50% dependability and

JoWREM (2016) 10-14 STM Journals 2016. All Rights Reserved

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Impact of Climate Change on Rainfall and Reservoirs

Madhukar et al.

1198 TMC at 75% dependability. The


economically utilizable water for irrigation is
estimated at 1695 TMC [5]. Due to the change
in the weather events the reservoir levels have
been seriously impacted in these regions.
There are thirteen major reservoirs in
Karnataka; they are as listed below
(information available in dmc.kar.nic.in):
i Linganamakki,
ii Supa,
iii Varahi,
iv Harangi,
v Hemavathi,
vi Krinshna Raja Sagara,
vii Kabini,
viii Bhadra,
ix Tungabhadra,
x Ghataprabha,
xi Malaprabha,
xii Almatti, and
xiii Narayanapur.

groundwater exploitation has exceeded more


than 50% of taluks of the state. This may be
due to decrease in rainfall and subsequent
natural recharge of the aquifers. Hence, in the
present paper, an attempt is made to present
the impacts of climate change on rainfall
pattern (20042010) and reservoir level
(20142015) in Karnataka. Change in the
rainfall pattern in a year is also been presented
by considering Mysore as the study area.

Similarly, the total available ground water is


estimated to be 485 TMC. Majority of the
villages and towns are supplied with
groundwater to meet the daily water demands
of the population. Statistical analysis of
ground water utilization have shown that the
available ground water resources are not been
exploited uniformly throughout the state. The
dry taluks of north and south interior
Karnataka have exploited the groundwater
resources at higher levels compared to coastal,
Malnad and irrigation command areas where
surface water availability is surplus. Hence,
deficiency of water in dry taluks of north and
south interior Karnataka prevails during most
of the seasons [6]. It is estimated that

RAINFALL PATTERN

METHODOLOGY
To understand the rainfall pattern and know
the reservoir levels, previous years data on
the same were obtained through the concerned
departments online database which is
available as open access. The data on rainfall
was obtained from Indian meteorological
department and reservoir level data was
obtained from Karnataka state natural disaster
centre.

The rivers of Karnataka are mainly rain fed.


Karnataka receives 73 percent of its rainfall
from south west monsoon (June to September)
and 17 percent of the rainfall from north east
monsoon (October to December). The annual
rainfall received in coastal Karnataka, north
and south interior Karnataka is presented in
Figures 13a and 3b respectively. From
Figure 1 it is observed that the rainfall
received in coastal Karnataka is found to be
gradually increasing trend. Whereas, in north
interior Karnataka, the trend of rainfall during
that span is in erratic form; which is evident
from the Figure 2.

Fig. 1: Trend of Annual Rainfall from 20042010 in Coastal Karnataka.

JoWREM (2016) 10-14 STM Journals 2016. All Rights Reserved

Page 11

Journal of Water Resource Engineering and Management


Volume 3, Issue 1
ISSN: 2349-4336(online)

Fig. 2: Trend of Annual Rainfall from 20042010 in North Interior Karnataka.

Fig. 3(a): Trend of Annual Rainfall from 20042010 in South Interior Karnataka.

Fig. 3(b): Trend of Annual Rainfall from 20042010 in South Interior Karnataka.

JoWREM (2016) 10-14 STM Journals 2016. All Rights Reserved

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Impact of Climate Change on Rainfall and Reservoirs

Madhukar et al.

Fig. 3(c): Monthly Rainfall Pattern Observed in Different Years in Mysore District.

Fig. 4: Difference between the Reservoir Level in 2014 and 2015 (as on 09/10/2015).
Referring to Figure 3a, in south interior
Karnataka (Bellary, Chitradurga, Davangere
and Tumkur) the trend is similar to coastal
Karnataka. In other south interior Karnataka

except Shimoga the annual rainfall trend is


found to be declining. This may be due to
change in land use and land cover and
associated heavy human activities and

JoWREM (2016) 10-14 STM Journals 2016. All Rights Reserved

Page 13

Journal of Water Resource Engineering and Management


Volume 3, Issue 1
ISSN: 2349-4336(online)

pollutions which have changed the


surrounding
environmental
systems
(Figure 3b).
From the Figure 3c in the year 2005 and 2007
the pattern of the rainfall is observed to follow
a similar trend. Even then the total rainfall is
observed to be declining gradually. A
significant change in the rainfall was observed
when compared to 2008 and 2010. It can be
clearly seen from the Figure 3c (bottom) that
the rainfall (peak) has shifted from 2nd month
to 3rd month initially and towards the tail the
peak of rainfall has shifted from 10th month to
11th month. This is a clear indication of the
change in the rainfall pattern which is nothing
but the climatic change observed in the
Mysore city.

RESERVOIR LEVEL
Reservoirs are the main source of water supply
for various anthropogenic activities. Rainfall is
the only way to recharge the major reservoirs
of Karnataka. Figure 4 shows the difference of
reservoir level in 2014 and 2015. In the
present year 100% of the reservoirs have not
reached the full reservoir level (as on 9th
October 2015). This may be due to shift in the
rainfall pattern or delay in heavy rainfall
events compared to previous year (2014). The
rainfall shift is evidently explained above by
referring to Figure 3c.

CONCLUSIONS
The rainfall pattern in coastal Karnataka and
some parts of south interior Karnataka
(Bellary,
Chitradurga,
Davangere
and
Tumkur) is found to be following gradually
increasing trend. In contrast, other south
interior Karnataka, except Bellary, Shimoga,
Chitradurga, Davangere and Tumkur, the
annual rainfall trend is following declining
trend. In north interior Karnataka, the trend of
rainfall during 20042010 it has taken
unpredictable form. There was a clear
indication of climate change in region of
Mysore which was evidently seen from the
pattern of peak of monthly rainfall shifting
from 2nd to 3rd month and from 10th to 11th
month of 2008 and 2010 respectively. In the

present year 100% of the reservoirs failed to


reach full reservoir level which may be due to
rainfall shift as mentioned earlier or change in
land use and land cover in catchment areas
which promote for change in climatic
conditions. From this, it is evident that there
has been a significant impact of climate
change on natural hydrological cycle due to
which a situation of water scarcity will be
prevailing in these regions.

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3. Gillham SW, Summerton MJ. A Water
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Cite this Article


Udayashankara TH, Sadashiva Murthy
BM, Madhukar M. Impact of Climate
Change on Rainfall Pattern and
Reservoir Level. Journal of Water
Resource Engineering and Management.
2016; 3(1): 1014p.

JoWREM (2016) 10-14 STM Journals 2016. All Rights Reserved

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