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Program Locations: India: Jaipur City, Banas River Basin within Rajasthan State
Project Duration: August 2007–January 2011
Project Lead: Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Senior Associate Scientist


The Center for Environmental and Developmental Studies worked with the Jaipur Municipal Corporation and formal water resource managers to assist them in understanding the dynamic interactions between climate variability, groundwater overdraft, and migrant inflows to Jaipur. The information from this project is being incorporated into city development and water resource plans in order to improve Jaipur’s overall resilience, with a particular focus on managing supply to meet the new domestic and commercial needs of immigrants under existing and projected climate conditions.

Project Overview

In this study, ISET worked with the Centre for Environmental and Developmental Studies to conduct research and raise awareness about water availability and supply in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The area faces challenges in water management as regional development causes water demands to rise and climate change makes water availability more unpredictable. Uncoordinated water management and limited communication between jurisdictions in Jaipur further exacerbates water demands. ISET and partners systematically explored competing water demands and potential impacts of migration and used this as input for climate change water simulations. During this study, ISET and partners were able to elevate water management issues to the point that the state government has now become involved, and is working to improve the potential for cross-jurisdictional communication and planning.

Core Program Activities

ISET led the technical and modeling aspects of the study, in addition to providing support to CEDSJ for the participatory research with ecological and labor migrants to Jaipur. Sarah Opitz-Stapleton developed a statistical downscaling model for the Banas River Basin (the Banas River supplies water to Bisalpur Dam, a primary source of water for Jaipur). The model employs a non-parametric, analog method (Opitz-Stapleton and Gangopadhyay, 2010) to relate historical precipitation data to observed large-scale climate fields such as humidity and air temperature. Projections of future large-scale climate fields from multiple global climate models were used to develop possible future rainfall-runoff scenarios for Banas River out to the 2040s. At the same time, ISET developed a water accounting balance model for Jaipur and the Banas Basin using WEAP. The model placed demand-side equations—water use patterns, use efficiency, and allocation priorities, among others—on equal footing with supply side considerations, including streamflow, groundwater tables, reservoirs, etc. Through projections of shifts in precipitation and scenarios of future water demand conditioned on migration trends, ISET and CEDSJ were able to evaluate and compare alternative water development and management strategies for Jaipur in the face of climate change.

Program activities also include:

  • Participatory research on migrant laborers to Jaipur city and peri-urban areas, and investigations of their reasons for coming to Jaipur.

  • Investigation of urban and peri-urban development trends and associated shifts in surface and groundwater demand, city water resource management, and development plans.

  • Assessing the impact of climate change on the Banas River’s water availability via statistical downscaling and simple rainfall-runoff scenarios.

  • A water resources supply and demand model (built in WEAP), incorporating both future migration and climate change conditioned rainfall-runoff scenarios.

Project Publications

Staff Involved

Project Partners

Manohar Rathore, Centre for Environment and Development Studies, Jaipur (CEDSJ)

Ladulal Sharma, Centre for Environment and Development Studies, Jaipur (CEDSJ)


N.P. Singh, , Centre for Environment and Development Studies, Jaipur (CEDSJ)

Funded by:

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