Regional Training on “Glacio-Hydrological Modelling using the SPHY Model”


The Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region has become increasingly vulnerable owing to various socioeconomic and environmental changes, including climate change. Climate change is believed to contribute to extreme weather events and possibly to increase the frequency and magnitude of natural hazards and associated disasters, exacting high economic and social costs. Recent studies have shown that the Himalayan region and the downstream areas that depend on its water supply and ecosystem services, including the Indo-Gangetic plain – ‘the grain basket of South Asia’ – are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The role of snow, glacier, precipitation and ground water in relation to the water resource in the HKH region, the possible impact of climate change on this and overall water availability has become a matter of great concern.

ICIMOD collaborated with Future Water, the Netherlands to develop a state-of-the-art model called Himalayan Spatial Processes in Hydrology (HISPHY). HISPHY is developed using the best available components of existing models resulting in a simulation model that is (i) flexible in scaling, (ii) includes cryosphere, mountain hydrology, low land hydrology and land surface processes, (iii) is in the public domain, and (iv) be linked to remote sensing. 

Recently we came out with an assessment which provides insights into the roles of snow, glacier, precipitation and groundwater in relation to the water resources and future scenarios of glacier and water availability in the upstream parts of Indus, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Salween and Mekong basins. To make this model accessible to its partner institutions in the region, ICIMOD, in collaboration with FutureWater, has developed user-friendly interface and training modules.

Objective of the training:

To ensure that SPHY can be applied by a wider range of experts with basic hydrological and computer skills, by developing and providing a basic interface.

More specifically:

  • The integrated hydrological analysis tool will include cryosphere, hydrology, and land surface processes;
  • The user-interface will allow to 
  1. Change/select model input parameters and maps,
  2. Select model output to be reported, 
  3. Run the model, and
  4. Show the model output.

  • A manual with the underlying theory and a hands-on training for a case study basin will be made available to participants;
  • Participants will be able to implement the model in their working basins and sub basins.