Evaluating the effects of climate change on Indus River Basin

Grantham Scholar Amal Sarfraz researches climate change and water scarcity in Pakistan. 

The project

Climate change is an undisputable reality; there is enough scientific evidence to rank it as the most significant challenge to global sustainability. Climate change has manifested itself in several ways, most drastically through extreme-weather events, biodiversity loss, changes in land use, and water scarcity worldwide.

Pakistan, a developing country with a foray of challenges due to climate change, deal with extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, and severe water scarcity. As an agriculture-based economy, Pakistan suffers from the depletion of water resources in its primary river system – the Indus River Basin (IRB).

The assessment of interactions among rising agricultural demand, socioeconomic development and climate change are crucial to determine extreme events such as droughts to assess water scarcity in IRB. Given the number of threats and the physical and socioeconomic processes that interact with these threats, evaluating the future use of IRB requires models that integrate the dominant processes. These challenges stress the need to incorporate sustainable water resource management solutions to achieve short-term and long-term benefits in different time steps.

This research aims to systematically explore and discover which processes are important for adaptation decisions in the IRB by confronting models that represent the fundamental processes at different scales, both in space and in time. This PhD will propose a novel coupling approach to combine the regional-scale Hydroeconomic Model with the global-scale Integrated Assessment Model to identify uncertain factors contributing to water scarcity under climate change and use them to inform adaptation.


Free sustainability webinars. Amal was part of a group who organised the Water For Everyone webinar. Created as part of our ongoing public engagement, it is on of a playlist of Grantham Scholar webinars available on YouTube.

Social media

You can find Amal Sarfraz on Twitter.



Dr Charles Rougé

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering


Professor Lyudmila Mihaylova

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering