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Venkat Sridhar, P.E.

Associate Professor
  • Research areas: River basin modeling, climate impacts on hydrology and water resources, water and energy budgets, land-atmosphere interaction
Venkat Sridhar, Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering Faculty
212 Seitz Hall


Ph.D., Biosystems Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 2001

M.S., Irrigation Engineering and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, 1994

B.S., Agricultural Engineering, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, 1991


Registered Civil Engineer, Nebraska (E-12233), Idaho (12916)


2018-Present - Associate Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia  

2014-2018 - Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

2012-2013 - Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho

2007-2012 - Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho

2003-2007 - Research Assistant Professor, Geosciences/School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

2001-2003 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

1997-2001 - Graduate Research Assistant, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Selected Major Awards

  • 2022- Fulbright-Nehru Award for Academic and Professional Excellence 
  • 2020 - Honorable Mention for the 2020 Mid-Career Award for Applied Research by the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR)
  • 2019 - Fulbright Specialist Award grant through the U. S. Department of State and the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF)

Courses Taught Last 5 Years

  • Engineering Hydrology
  • Hydrometeorology
  • GIS in Water Resources

Program Focus

My research focus covers climate change impact assessment at river basin scales; water management and decision support; vegetation dynamics at the watershed, regional, and continental scale; streamflow modeling; surface water-ground water interactions; and GIS and remote sensing applications in hydrology. A clear knowledge about the interactions of land surface and subsurface processes, as well as human-induced activities in a changing climate, including farming, range, forestry, and other agricultural practices, with ecosystem integrity is needed in order to maintain the water resources, ecosystem health, and to understand the impact of climate change and variability.

I am working towards improving our understanding on the climate change impacts on hydrology and water resources management in various river basins in the US and in the developing world. The timing and volume of runoff is expected to show some shifts which in turn will impact our water management decisions. We adapt and modify a number of macroscale hydrological models such as Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model, Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)-Noah Land Surface Model, Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) driven by a suite of climate model-derived precipitation and temperature scenarios to understand the water balance at the river basin scales. Additionally, we are developing a systems dynamics model to link the hydrologic streamflow forecasts with decision support tools to provide scenarios for water resources management to optimize the allocation for competing demands (irrigation, hydropower, ecological flows, and navigation).

International Programs

USAID Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Project in collaboration with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), 2020-2021: This research study is designed to recommend adaptation strategies that will help manage the risks due to climate change in the agricultural sector of the Bhavani River basin in Tamil Nadu. I am responsible for co-advising a PhD student from Asian Institute of Technology who is working on the project and mentoring TNAU researchers and provide expertise in climate change modeling work.

Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) Project, 2019-2021, Serve as a mentor for studying flood modeling with National Institute of Technology Warangal along with Texas A&M University.

Fulbright Specialist, 2018-2021, The Fulbright-Nehru Specialist grant is awarded through the U. S. Department of State and the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) to collaborate with professional counterparts on research, capacity building and outreach activities in India.

Information Technology Research Academy, Government of India, 2014-2019 Measurement to Management (M2M): Improved Water Use Efficiency and Agricultural Productivity through Experimental Sensor Network at Indian Institute of Technology. Developed techniques to measure and monitor surface water and groundwater resources including capacity building through education and outreach.

National Science Foundation PIRE project, 2015-2020. Advancing research collaboration to study the land use impacts on water resources and receiving environment. In the first phase of this project, Sridhar participated in the workshop organized by Virginia Tech researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in March, 2016 and interacted with other stakeholders of the project and countries involved (Switzerland, India, China, Portugal, Philippines and U.S.). This project engaged students from Virginia Tech and partner institutions to visit water treatment plants and sampling locations and helped in building solid foundation for research related to water, environment and public health. With collaborators from Civil and Engineering at Virginia Tech and Clemson University,  we have developed a water quality model to simulate land use impacts on pollutant loading to wastewater treatment plants and the spread of antibiotic resistant genes in the receiving environment in India, Sweden and the U.S.

Mekong Basin Project, 2017-2022. Collaboration with Michigan State University as a lead partner, efforts are underway to build research partnership for the NASA Interdisciplinary Sciences-funded project on water-energy-food nexus in the Mekong basin along with Nakhon Phanom University, Thailand and National University of Laos, Laos PDR and Vietnam National Mekong Committee. This project also facilitated cooperation between the member countries (Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam) and field visits in 2018 and 2019. My research group is developing a systems dynamics model by integrating reservoirs in the food-energy-water nexus assessment.

Selected international workshops and short courses organized

  • Conducted a workshop titled "Hydropower in Kazakhstan: A Review" at the S. Seifullin Kazakh Agrotechnical Research University (Virtual), II International Summer School-2023 on the topic "Innovative technologies and digitalization in power supply systems", organized by the Faculty of Energy from May 10 to May 22, 2023
  • Offered a guest lecture titled "Hydrological Modeling-Tools and Demonstration" at the Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the workshop "Introduction to Remote Sensing and Applications" from Febuary 8 to Febuary 10, 2023
  • Offered a short course titled "Understanding the Hydrologic Extremes Under Changing Climate" at National Institute of Technology Warangal through SPARC project, Febuary 7 to Febuary 12, 2023
  • Offered a 3-day workshop “From Knowledge to Action: A Vision for Resilient Rural India” under the aegis of SPARC Ministry of Human Resources Development Government of India at the School of Infrastructure, Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneshwar, India and the participating institutions from the US include Virginia Tech, Texas A&M University, Oregon State University, Indiana University, January 7 to 9, 2020
  • Offered a short course titled “Modeling and Analysis of Hydrologic Extremes” at National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India through SPARC project, December 12 to December 17, 2019
  • Offered a short course titled “Hydrological and Water Resources Modelling of River basins Under Climate Change Scenarios” at National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India through SPARC project, July 3 to July 4 2019
  • Offered a short course titled “Water Resources in a Changing Climate” in Ashoka Trust for Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bangalore India through the Fulbright Scholar program in January 2019
  • Offered a short course titled “Geospatial Technologies for Hydrological Modeling” at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur sponsored by India Information Technology Research Academy, New Delhi, June 16 to June 27, 2014

Ramabrahmam, K., V. R. Keesara, R. Srinivasan, D. Pratap, V. Sridhar (2023). Climate Change Impact on Water Resources of Tank Cascade Systems in the Godavari sub-basin, India, Water Resources Management, doi: 10.1007/s11269-023-03496-y

Kamalamma, A.G., M. S. Babel, V. Sridhar, V. Geethalakshmi (2023). A novel approach to vulnerability assessment for adaptation planning in agriculture: An Application to the Lower Bhavani Irrigation Project, India, Climate Services, 30, 100358, doi:10.1016/j.cliser.2023.100358

Satish Kumar, K., P. AnandRaj, K. Sreelatha, V. Sridhar (2023). Reconstruction of GRACE Terrestrial Water Storage Anomalies using Multi-Layer Perceptrons for South Indian River Basins, Science of the Total Environment, 857, Part 2, 159289, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.159289

Venkata Rao, G., V.R. Keesara, V. Sridhar, R. Srinivasan, N. V. Umamahesh, D. Pratap (2022). Evaluation of GFS based Rainfall Forecasts Over the Nagavali and Vamsadhara Basins, India, Atmospheric Research, 278, 106326, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106326.

Kang, H., V. Sridhar (2022). Climate change impacts on flash droughts in the Mekong River Basin, Science of the Total Environment, 838, Part 2, 155845, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155845

Jayanthi, S.L.V., V. R. Keesara, V. Sridhar (2022). Prediction of Future Lake Water Availability Using SWAT and Support Vector Regression (SVR), Sustainability, 14 (12), 6974; doi:10.3390/su14126974

Bejagam, V., V.R. Keesara, V. Sridhar (2021). Impacts of climate change on water provisional services in the Tungabhadra basin using InVEST model, River Research and Applications, 37, 9, doi: 10.1002/rra.389.

Sridhar, V., S. A. Ali, D. J. Sample (2021). Systems analysis of coupled natural and human processes in the Mekong River Basin, Hydrology, 8, 140, doi: 10.3390/ hydrology8030140.

Whitehurst, D., B. Friedman, K. Kochersberger, V. Sridhar, J. Weeks (2021). Drone-based community assessment, planning, and disaster risk management for sustainable development, Remote Sensing, 13, 1739, doi: 10.3390/rs13091739.

Satish Kumar, K., P AnandRaj, K. Sreelatha, V. Sridhar (2021). Regional analysis of drought severity-duration-frequency and severity-area-frequency patterns in the Godavari River Basin, India, International Journal of Climatology, doi: 10.1002/joc.7137.

Kang, H., V. Sridhar, M. Mainuddin, L.D. Trung (2021). Future rice farming threatened by drought in the Lower Mekong Basin, Nature Scientific Reports, 11:9383, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-88405-2.

Sujatha, E.R., V. Sridhar (2021). Landslide Susceptibility Analysis in the Era of Climate Change: A Logistic Regression Model Case Study in Coonoor, India, Hydrology, 8(1), 41, doi: 10.3390/hydrology8010041

Venkata Rao, G., V. R. Keesara, R. Srinivasan, V. Sridhar, N.V. Umamahesh, D. Pratap (2020). Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Rainfall Extremes in the Flood-prone Nagavali and Vamsadhara Basins in Eastern India, Weather and Climate Extremes, 29, 100265, doi: 10.1016/j.wace.2020.100265

Ali, S.A., V. Sridhar (2019). Deriving the dam characteristics from remote sensing to assess the cascading effect of dams in the Mekong River Basin, Remote Sensing, 11, 2872; doi:10.3390/rs11232872.

Kang, H., V. Sridhar (2019). Drought assessment with a surface-groundwater coupled model in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Environmental Modelling & Software, 119, 379-389; doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.07.002

Sridhar, V., H. Kang, S.A. Ali (2019). Human-induced alterations to land use and climate and their responses on hydrology and water management in the Mekong River basin, Water, 11, 1307, doi:10.3390/w11061307.

Sridhar, V., S.A. Ali, V. Lakshmi (2019). Assessment and validation of total water storage in the Chesapeake Bay watershed using GRACE, Journal of Hydrology Regional Studies, 24, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2019.100607

Kang, H., V. Sridhar, B. Mills, W. C. Hession and J. A. Ogejo (2019). Economy-wide climate change impacts on green water droughts based on the hydrologic simulations, Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, 171, 76-88, 10.1016/j.rsase.2019.02.004

Bisht, D.S., V. Sridhar, A. Mishra, C. Chatterjee, N. S. Raghuwanshi (2019). Drought characterization over India under projected climate scenario, International Journal of Climatology, 39, 1889-1911, doi: 10.1002/joc.5922

Sehgal, V., V. Sridhar, L. Juran, J. Ogejo (2018). Integrating Climate Forecasts with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for High-Resolution Hydrologic Simulation and Forecasts in the Southeastern U.S., Sustainability, 10, 3079, doi:10.3390/su10093079,

Thilakarathne, M., V. Sridhar, R. Karthikeyan (2018). Spatially explicit pollutant load-integrated in-stream E. coli concentration modeling in a mixed land-use catchment, Water Research, 144, 87-103, doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.07.021

Pokhrel, Y., M. Burbano, J. Roush, H. Kang, V. Sridhar, D. Hyndman (2018). A Review of Hydrological, Agricultural, and Ecological Effects of Climate Change and Dam Construction in the Mekong River Basin, Water, 10 (3), 266; doi: 10.3390/w10030266 Sehgal, V., V. Sridhar (2018). Effect of hydroclimatological teleconnections on watershed-scale drought predictability in Southeastern U.S., International Journal of Climatology, 38 S1, e1139–e1157, doi: 10.1002/joc.5439

Seong, C., V. Sridhar, M. Billah (2018) Implications of potential evapotranspiration methods for streamflow estimation in a changing climate, International Journal of Climatology, 38, 2, 896–914 doi:10.1002/joc.5218.

Sridhar, V., M. M. Billah, J. Hildreth (2018) Coupled Surface and Groundwater Hydrological Modeling in a Changing Climate, Groundwater, 56, 4, 618-635, doi:10.1111/gwat.12610.

Kang, H., V. Sridhar (2017) Assessment of future drought conditions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, doi: 10.1111/1752-1688.12600.

Thilakarathne, M., V. Sridhar (2017) Characterization of future drought conditions in the Lower Mekong Basin, Weather and Climate Extremes, 17, 47-58, doi: 10.1016/j.wace.2017.07.004,

Bisht, D.S., C. Chatterjeea, N.S. Raghuwanshi, V. Sridhar (2017) An analysis of precipitation climatology over Indian urban agglomeration, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, doi: 10.1007/s00704-017-2200-z.

Sujatha, E.R., V. Sridhar (2017) Mapping Debris Flow Susceptibility using Analytical Network Process, Journal of Earth System Science, 126: 116. doi:10.1007/s12040-017-0899-7.

Kang, H., V. Sridhar (2017) Combined statistical and spatially distributed hydrological model for evaluating future drought indices in Virginia, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 12, 253-272, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.06.003

Bisht, D.S., C. Chatterjee, N.S. Raghuwanshi, V. Sridhar (2017) Spatio-temporal Trends of Rainfall across Indian River Basins, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, doi: 10.1007/s00704-017-2095-8.

Sehgal, V., V. Sridhar, A. Tyagi (2017) Stratified drought analysis using a stochastic ensemble of simulated and in- situ soil moisture observations, Journal of Hydrology, 545, 226-250, doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.12.033.

Sridhar, V., K.A. Anderson (2017) Human-induced modifications to boundary layer fluxes and their water management implications in a changing climate, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 234, 66-79, doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2016.12.009.

Seong, C.H., V. Sridhar (2017) Hydroclimatic variability and change in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Journal of Water and Climate Change, International Water Association, 8(2),254-272, jwc2016008, doi: 10.2166/wcc.2016.008.

Jaksa, W.T.A., V. Sridhar (2015) Effect of irrigation in simulating long-term evapotranspiration climatology in a human-dominated river basin system, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 200, 109-118, doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.09.008.

Leon, A.S., E.A. Kanashiro, R. Valverde, V. Sridhar (2014) A Dynamic framework for intelligent control of river flooding- A case study, ASCE J. Water Resources Planning and Management, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000260.

Sridhar, V (2013) Tracking the influence of irrigation on land surface fluxes and boundary layer climatology, Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, 152, 79-93.doi: 10.1111/j.1936-704X.2013.03170.x

Sridhar, V., W. Jaksa, B. Fang, V. Lakshmi, K. Hubbard, X. Jin (2013) Evaluating bias corrected AMSR-E soil moisture using in-situ observations and model estimates, Vadose Zone Journal, doi:10.2136/vzj2013.05.0093.

Hoekema, D. J., V. Sridhar (2013) A system dynamics model for conjunctive management of water resources in the Snake River basin, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol 49, No. 6: 1327-1350, doi: 10.1111/jawr.12092.

Jaksa, W.T., V. Sridhar, J. L. Huntington and M. Khanal (2013) Evaluation of the Complementary Relationship using Noah Land Surface Model and North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) Data to Estimate Evapotranspiration in Semiarid Ecosystems, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol 14, Issue 1, 345-359, Feb 2013 doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-11-067.1.

Sridhar, V., X. Jin, W.T. Jaksa (2013) Explaining the hydroclimatic variability and change in the Salmon River basin, Climate Dynamics, 40, 1921–1937, doi: 10.1007/s00382-012-1467-0.

Jin, X., V. Sridhar (2012) Impacts of climate change on hydrology and water resources in the Boise and Spokane River Basins, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 48, no. 2: 197-220, doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00605.x.

Hoekema, D., V. Sridhar (2011) Relating climatic attributes and water resources allocation: A study using surface water supply and soil moisture indices in the Snake River basin, Idaho, Water Resources Research 47 (7), W07536, doi: 10.1029/2010WR009697.

Sridhar, V., A. Nayak (2010) Implications of climate-driven variability and trends for the hydrologic assessment of the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Idaho, Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 385, 183-202, doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.02.020.

Stratton, B.T., V. Sridhar, M.M. Gribb, J.P. McNamara, B. Narasimhan (2009) Modeling the spatially varying water balance processes in a semi-arid mountainous watershed of Idaho, Journal of the American Water Resources Association 1-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2009.00371.x

Sridhar, V., D. A. Wedin (2009) Hydrological behavior of Grasslands of the Sandhills: Water and Energy Balance Assessment from Measurements, Treatments and Modeling, Ecohydrology, 2, 195-212, doi:10.1002/eco.61.

Sridhar, V., K.G. Hubbard, J. You, E. Hunt (2008) Development of soil moisture index to quantify agricultural drought and its ‘user-friendliness’ in severity-area-duration assessment, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 9, Issue 4, 660-676, doi: 10.1175/2007JHM892.1

Sridhar, V (2007) Evapotranspiration estimation and scaling effects over the Nebraska Sandhills, Great Plains Research, 17, 35-45.

Sridhar, V., D.B. Loope, J.A. Mason, J.B., Swinehart, R.J. Oglesby, C. M. Rowe (2006) Large Wind Shift on the Great Plains During the Medieval Warm Period, Science, Vol. 313. no. 5785, pp. 345 – 347, doi: 10.1126/science.1128941.

Sridhar, V., A.L. Sansone, J. LaMarche, T. Rubin, D.P. Lettenmaier (2004) Prediction of stream temperature in forested watersheds, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol 40, Issue 1, 197-214, doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2004.tb01019.x

Wood, A.W., L.R. Leung, V. Sridhar, D.P. Lettenmaier (2004) Hydrologic implications of dynamical and statistical approaches to downscaling climate model outputs, Climatic Change 62, 189-216, doi: 10.1023/B:CLIM.0000013685.99609.9E

Sridhar, V., R.L. Elliott and F. Chen (2003) Scaling effects on modeled surface energy balance components using the Noah Land Surface Model, Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 280, No. 1-4, 105-123, doi: 10.1016/S0022-1694(03)00220-8

Hillard, U., V. Sridhar, D.P. Lettenmaier, K.C. McDonald (2003) Assessing snow melt dynamics with NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) data and a hydrologic process model, Remote Sensing of Environment, 86, 52-69, doi: 10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00068-3

Sridhar, V., R.L. Elliott, F. Chen, J.A. Brotzge (2002) Validation of the NOAH-OSU Land Surface Model using surface flux measurements in Oklahoma, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 107, No. D20, 4418, doi: 10.1029/2001JD001306.

Selected Recent Funding

  • Field Investigation to assess the glacier-melt induced peak flows and landslide in the Chamoli region, Uttarakhand, India, NSF, 2021-2023
  • Collaborative adaptation pathways for agricultural water management in the Bhavani Basin, India; Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), USAID,  2021-2023
  •  Real-time Forecasting of floods using SWAT model, Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), A Government of India Initiative, 2019-2023
  •  The economic impacts of salinity intrusion on coastal rice production: A comprehensive micro-macro analysis, USDA NIFA,  2019-2023
  •  The Coupling of Land, Water, and Livelihoods under a Changing Climate in the Lower Mekong Region, National Aeronautics and Space Administration,  2017-2022
  •  Transportation Infrastructure Flooding: Sensing water levels and clearing and rerouting traffic out of danger, Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability Center Regional University Transportation Center Consortium (MATS-UTC), Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research, 2016-2017
  •  Impact of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise on Stormwater Design and Reoccurring Flooding Problems in the Hampton Roads Region, Competitive Collaborative Proposals from Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability Center Regional University Transportation Center Consortium led by the University of Virginia;  2015-2016