Water resources assessment and monitoring

Around 1.3 billion people rely on the 10 large transboundary river systems that traverse the Hindu Kush Himalayas.  Monitoring the state of these water resources and their change over time is integral to the development of effective strategies for sustainable water resources management, and remote sensing data can play a crucial role in the process. 

For instance, land and climatic data is very important for developing hydrological models, including model formulation, validation, and application. But incorrect specification of land surface parameters can result in significant model error.  Traditionally, data for hydrological variables has been acquired for point locations – e.g., hydrological and weather stations -- and treated as representative of a large region. But for complex territory like the HKH, with its highly variable land cover and topography, point-data are less successful in characterizing the area.  This is particularly true when point stations are very far apart.  

Remote sensing data to generate land-surface characterizations is useful in filling the data gaps in spatial information. Geospatial solutions are used to work with the river basin programme to develop seamless data on land surface parameters for the HKH region to improve hydrological models. Research is also conducted to develop an integrated decision-support system to analyze the region’s Water-Food-energy nexus and develop balanced strategies for sustainable water resources management. 


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Science applications