New book on climate and water in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

KATHMANDU, MAR 25 - The centrality of water in climate change is astounding,” said Dipak Gywali, former Water Resource Minister, on Monday at the launch of a new book Research Insights on Climate and Water in the Hindu Kush Himalayas from the World Bank-funded South Asia Water Initiative Small Grants Program, implemented by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The new book, which presents policy-relevant findings of eight research projects in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan, aims to support evidence-based water resource planning. It emphasises the need to look at river basins across boundaries to better understand the region’s water resources, as well as how they will impact the regions.

Gywali added, “When climate change kicks in, it’s through water that society will be most affected...the way to reduce physical uncertainty is through better science.”

The launch of the book was followed by a discussion featuring Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Chair of Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Development Committee; Narendra Man Shakya, professor at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk; and Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Senior Climate Change Specialist at ICIMOD. Each presenter shared his research on how climate change is affecting the country’s water resources. Shrestha noted that while the projected average flow of many rivers in the region has shown little change, an increase in extreme events, like floods and droughts, emphasises the need for more research on the variability in the flow of the region’s water resources. “In the timeframe we looked at, our research predicts that glaciers will reduce in size, but while reducing they will keep on generating more water until a certain point,” he said. “In addition, although there are still high levels of uncertainty, precipitation is also projected to increase. It might be more important to take a look at the extremes.”

Posted on: 2014-03-25 08:42