Summary This study employed a Monte-Carlo simulation approach to characterise the uncertainties in climate change induced variations in storage requirements and performance (reliability (time- and volume-based), resilience, vulnerability and sustainability) of surface water reservoirs. Using a calibrated rainfall–runoff (R–R) model, the baseline runoff scenario was first simulated. The R–R inputs (rainfall and temperature) were then perturbed using plausible delta-changes to produce simulated climate change runoff scenarios. Stochastic models of the runoff were developed and used to generate ensembles of both the current and climate-change-perturbed future runoff scenarios. The resulting runoff ensembles were used to force simulation models of the behaviour of the reservoir to produce ‘populations’ of required reservoir storage capacity to meet demands, and the performance. Comparing these parameters between the current and the perturbed provided the population of climate change effects which was then analysed to determine the variability in the impacts. The methodology was applied to the Pong reservoir on the Beas River in northern India. The reservoir serves irrigation and hydropower needs and the hydrology of the catchment is highly influenced by Himalayan seasonal snow and glaciers, and Monsoon rainfall, both of which are predicted to change due to climate change. The results show that required reservoir capacity is highly variable with a coefficient of variation (CV) as high as 0.3 as the future climate becomes drier. Of the performance indices, the vulnerability recorded the highest variability (CV up to 0.5) while the volume-based reliability was the least variable. Such variabilities or uncertainties will, no doubt, complicate the development of climate change adaptation measures; however, knowledge of their sheer magnitudes as obtained in this study will help in the formulation of appropriate policy and technical interventions for sustaining and possibly enhancing water security for irrigation and other uses served by Pong reservoir.
B. Soundharajan, Adeloye, A. J., and Remesan, R., “Evaluating the variability in surface water reservoir planning characteristics during climate change impacts assessment”, Journal of Hydrology, vol. 538, pp. 625 - 639, 2016.