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Gorakhpur: Extreme Rainfall, Climate Change, and Flooding (Technical Report)

Authors: Sarah Opitz-Stapleton; Kate Hawley

Gorakhpur is a rapidly growing city in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. Historically, the area experienced low levels of flooding each year during the summer monsoon, and depended upon such floods to replenish soil fertility. Yet, the depth and duration of flooding in the city has been increasing. Urbanization is one of the key factors enhancing flooding and waterlogging; for example, loss of water bodies and construction in the floodplain zones of the Rapti and Rohini rivers is reducing the capacity for floodwater drainage, absorption and storage. These urbanization processes have changed the nature of flooding and waterlogging hazards for the city, and they are accelerate. In parallel, climate change is likely to alter the frequency and intensity of rainfall events that contribute to Gorakhpur’s flooding. Shifts in extreme rainfall due to climate change, coupled with the current city development trajectory, will continue to increase the flood and waterlogging risk. Unless the city can manage growth in a more sustainable manner, flood depths will increase and waterlogging will last longer due to the projected climate change impacts on rainfall and current urbanization process.


Citation: Opitz-Stapleton, S., & Hawley, K. (2013). Gorakhpur: Extreme rainfall, climate change, and flooding (Technical Report). Boulder, CO: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.

Funded By: The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN); The Rockefeller Foundation

Disclaimer: This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in it are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID, DGIS or  the entities managing the delivery of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, which can accept no responsibility or liability for such views, completeness or accuracy of the information or for any reliance placed on th