Future Streamflow of Brahmaputra River Basin under Synthetic Climate Change Scenarios

Image credit: Mario Álvarez on Unsplash


The streamflow of Brahmaputra River Basin is vital for sustainable socioeconomic development of the Ganges delta. Frequent floods and droughts in the past decades indicate the susceptibility of the region to climate variability. Although there are multiple studies investigating the basin’s future water availability, most of those are based on limited climate change scenarios despite the wide range of uncertainties in different climate model projections. This study aims to provide a better estimation of projected future streamflow for a combination of 18 climate change scenarios. We develop a hydrologic model of the basin and simulate the future water availability based on these climate change scenarios. Our results show that the simulated mean annual, mean seasonal and annual maximum streamflow of the basin is expected to increase in future. By the end of the 21st century, the projected increase in mean annual, mean dry season, mean wet season, and annual maximum streamflow is about 25, 178, 11, and 22%, respectively. We also demonstrate that this projected streamflow can be expressed as a multivariate linear regression of projected changes in temperature and precipitation in the basin and would be very useful for policy makers to make informed decision regarding climate change adaptation.

Journal of Water and Climate Change