- Large-scale (global to continental) water cycle modeling considering human activities
- Irrigation pumping and groundwater depletion
- Impacts of irrigation on regional/global climate and the associated feedback
- Use of remote sensing data (e.g., GRACE, MODIS) in hydrologic modeling
- Human-induced terrestrial water storage change and sea level rise
- Water for food: crop/irrigation modeling and agricultural sustainability
- Water cycle change in the Amazon river basin: climate change, forest dieback, and the role of groundwater
Dr. Pokhrel’s research interests are focused on improving the understanding of the changes in the global/regional 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 his research interest. The primary focus of his research is on representing these human factors into global/regional hydrologic, climate, and earth system models in order to develop integrated hydrological/water resources assessment models to study human impacts on the water cycle and the associated impacts to and feedback from the climate system; he integrates various in-situ and satellite-based observations within these models to address problems related to climate change and water resources and agricultural sustainability.