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This study has been undertaken to investigate the intensity and magnitude of floods is supposed to be increasing world over in the recent decades because of climate change and global warming phenomenon. The Western Ghats are globally important, not only being rich in biodiversity, but primarily because of the role, they play in influencing climatic regime and annual precipitation in Indian subcontinent. The climate change has caused uncertainty and wide fluctuations in precipitation pattern from extreme droughts to heavy rains and periodic cloud bursts. Thus, floods, which were locally almost unknown, are becoming a potential disaster in the earlier relatively safe and climatically stable areas such as Western Ghats.
Kolhapur district being largely i.e., over 65-70% of the total area, being situated in the Western Ghats region, receives high annual rainfall in its western hilly part. It was therefore felt necessary to study the region for vulnerability and risk analysis of annual floods in Kolhapur district to know their main causes and their consequences. Therefore, this chapter deals with the relevant topics such as rainfall variability in Kolhapur district, correlation and multiple regression analysis of rainfalls and water levels in flood prone Panchganga basin. It also includes readings on drinking water quality from Panchganga river basin, during pre and post flood period and people’s perception on the issue through social Impact assessment (SIA) studies. Panchganga flood line drawn by using Arc GIS Software 9.3 version. The secondary information collected on major rivers prone to floods in the area, flood prone areas, flood levels at different tahsils and the consequences and Impact of floods in Kolhapur city are also covered in the study.
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