The overarching goal of the HighNoon project was to gather information and develop further knowledge on the retreat of the Himalayan glaciers and corresponding changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change, and to assess the impacts on surrounding regions. A case study approach was undertaken to achieve the project objectives, and four local case studies in the upstream, mid-stream and downstream parts of the Ganges Basin were conducted. The sectorial focus was mainly on the agriculture and water sectors (besides looking at linkages on other aspects including health and power generation), and the selection of case studies was based on extensive stakeholder consultations at both state and district levels.
For each case study, the implications of future climate changes were investigated through identifying the current situation of water resources and demand, geology and economic status, development of socio-economic factors and affected stakeholders. For each area, the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the regions was also assessed. Impacts of variations in precipitation and glacial retreat could have serious implications for each of the observed areas, affecting the water availability for electricity generation, irrigation and drinking. The results from the case studies were used in the development of an indicator framework tool which can facilitate adaption to the effects of climate change in the north-Indian region.
Case Study 1 was conducted in the Delhi/ National Capital Region to capture the implications of changes in water supply and hydropower generation from the Tehri Dam. Delhi is one of the key benefactors of the Tehri hydro project, and a substantial part of the drinking water and electricity of the city is sourced from this dam.
Case Study 2 was held in Udham Singh Nagar in the state of Uttarakhand. The district is classified as the food bowl of the State and is famous for its agriculture and irrigation on synchronized patterns and productivity rates.
Case Study 3 investigated the conditions for the district Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The district has very high dependence on agriculture and is largely exposed to extreme events, including drought and floods.
Case Study 4 included the districts Purulia, Bankura and West Medinapur in the state of West Bengal. The geology of the area covers terrain formed of hard rocks comprising a rolling topography, and agriculture in these districts is largely dependent on the monsoon.
HighNoon project Delivery Report D 6.1: Report on outline of CS and description of stakeholders. November 2010.