University works to secure India’s water future

Collaborative research between Scotland and India has begun on a major water management project in India, with researchers from the University of Dundee exploring the impact of increasing population and rapid economic development on water resources.

The £2million pound project, UPSCALE, is being carried out in the Cauvery river basin in India, and is funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council in the UK and the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India.

The University of Dundee is one of six UK-based partners working with Indian organisations to understand trends in water use and management in order to help protect the availability of water in the region.

Affected by land use, population, urbanisation and irrigation practices, the project has already shed light on the future of water management of the area in response to these geographical changes.

Professor John Rowan, Dean of Social Sciences at the University, said, “UPSCAPE is a wholly collaborative project between many UK and Indian partners which will allow us to build a comprehensive understanding of water availability in the Cauvery basin and how climate and changing land management practices might impact on secure and sustainable food supplies in the future.

“Our work aims to bridge the gap between research and policy through the creation of a powerful hydrological model which can be used by water managers and regulatory officials to make better management decisions across whole basin.”

Professor Rowan is in India this week, part of a Scottish delegation of Government and University representatives exploring further collaboration between India and Scottish Higher Education.

The collaboration of expertise from around Scotland will allow the project to be delivered using state of the art technology and build on the expertise of industry leaders from other Scottish Higher Education institutions such as Heriot-Watt and the University of Stirling.

Current projects in India include River Health funded in part by the Scottish Government led by Dundee’s Mr Andrew Allan from the UK’s only UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, examining the health of the river ecosystems in northern India with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). 

Professor Chris Spray, Chair of Water Science & Policy with a baby turtle in Northern India, on a project exploring the health of the ecosystems.

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