Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Manipur, India


Hydrological components in a river basin can get adversely affected by climate change in coming future. Manipur River basin lies in the extreme northeast region of India nestled in the lesser Himalayan ranges and it is under severe pressure from anthropogenic and natural factors. Basin is un-gauged as it lies in remote location and suffering from large data scarcity. This paper explores the impact of climate change towards understanding the inter-relationships between various complex hydrological factors in the river basin. An integrated approach is applied by coupling Soil and Water Assessment Hydrological Model and Hadley Center Coupled Model based on temperature, rainfall and geospatial data. Future representative concentration pathways 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios for 2050s and 2090s decades were used to evaluate the effects of climatic changes on hydrological parameters. Both annual mean temperature and annual precipitation is predicted to be increased by 2.07oC and 62% under RCP 8.5 by the end of 21st century. This study highlights that change in meteorological parameters will lead to significant change in the hydrological regime of the basin. Runoff, actual evapotranspiration and water yield are expected to be increased by 40.96 m3/s, 52.2% and 86.8% respectively under RCP 8.5. This study shows that water yield and evapotranspiration will be most affected by increase in precipitation and temperature in the upper and middle sub-basins. Different region within the basin is likely to be affected by frequent landslides and flood in coming decades.

Graphical Abstract

Future climate change impact on hydrological regime of river basin using SWAT model


  • Both precipitation and temperature is likely to increase in Manipur River basin;
  • There is a high risk of landslides in the northern part of Manipur River basin due to soil liquefaction;
  • There is a high risk of flood in the lower region around Loktak Lake;
  • There does not seem to be a major water scarcity in the coming century in Manipur River basin;
  • There is a good potential of hydro-power generation in the Manipur River basin because of increase in discharge especially in monsoon and post monsoon season.


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