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Assessment of Climate Change Impact on Water Resources in the Ping River Basin of Thailand

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Devesh Sharma, Mukand S. Babel, Ashim Das Gupta
Water Engineering and Management Program, Asian Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 4, Khlong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand Tel. +662 524 5970, Fax. +662 524 6425, Email. msbabel@ait.ac.th

Keyword(s): climate change, water resources, Southeast Asia, GCM precipitation scenarios, Thailand
AbstractClimate change poses significant risks to the security of water resources in Asia region. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), freshwater availability in Southeast Asia particularly in large river basins is projected to decrease due to climate change which could adversely affect more than a billion people by the 2050s. This paper assesses the impacts of climate change on water resource in the Ping River Basin of Thailand. A rainfall-runoff model (HEC-HMS) is used to estimate future runoff based on the improved ECHAM4/OPYC general circulation model (GCM) precipitation scenarios for three five-year periods; the 2023-27, the 2048-52 and 2093-97. Bias-correction and spatial disaggregation techniques are applied to improve the characteristics of raw ECHAM4/OPYC precipitation. Results of future simulations suggest a decrease of 13 to 19% in annual streamflow compared to the base period (1998- 2002). It is also observed that there will be a shift in seasonal streamflow pattern. The peak flows in future scenarios will occur in October-November rather than September as observed in the base period. The analysis further indicates that there will be a significant increase in the streamflow in April with overall decrease in streamflow during the wet season (May to October) and an increase during the dry season (November to April) for all future time periods considered.
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