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Yadu Pokhrel
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan State University

I am Yadu Pokhrel, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University (MSU). As one of the faculty members working in very broad areas of Hydrology and Water Resources in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, I lead the research group that particularly focuses on large-scale hydrological and climate modeling.

Our research seeks to improve the understanding of the changes in the terrestrial water cycle in response to the combined effects of human activities and climate change. In particular, the changes in various components of the hydrological cycle, as caused directly by human activities such as land-use change, reservoir operation and large-scale diversion of water, irrigation, and groundwater pumping, constitute the foundation of our research interests. We develop and use integrated hydrological models, in conjunction with satellite and in-situ observations to understand how the water cycle has evolved during the past and how it will change in the future under the dual pressure of climate change and human interventions. In light of the increasing concerns about global water security and agricultural sustainability, our long-term professional goal is to seek a better understanding of the broader consequences when the human factors are combined with global climate change, through the representation of these human factors in climate and Earth Systems Models. By utilizing the techniques and models we develop, we desire to help tackle pressing science and societal problems regarding water resources sustainability, and food production and security.

Our current research projects are on the following (including but not limited to) broad areas:

  • Modeling human impacts on the water cycle: irrigation, groundwater depletion, reservoir operation
  • Irrigation pumping and groundwater depletion in the High Plains and Central Valley
  • Hydrological, agricultural, ecological, and socio-economic impacts of large hydropower dams (Amazon and Mekong River Basins)
  • Irrigation impacts on regional and global climate
  • Terrestrial Water Storage change: use of GRACE data and hydrological models
  • Climate change; water and food sustainability; crop modeling
  • Sustainable hydropower development.
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