A fifth of the world’s population depends on rivers that are born in the Hindu Kush Himalayas. Winding for 3,500 kilometres through remote steppes, terraced farmlands and crowded cities, the 10 largest Asian river systems form ecological communities that are the homes of 210 million people in the mountains and over 1.3 billion people downstream.
Much of the water originates around the highest mountains on earth, a region often called “the third pole” because of its immense concentration of snow and ice, the largest outside the Arctic and Antarctic. Relying on a complex interplay of seasonal weather such as the monsoon and the specific dynamics of a region that is deeply vulnerable to climate change and socio-economic pressures, the water flows downstream to multiple countries and forms a web of economically crucial rivers: the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra (Yarlungtsanpo), Irrawaddy, Salween (Nu), Mekong (Lancang), Yangtse (Jinsha), Yellow River (Huanghe), and Tarim (Dayan).
All across the Hindu Kush Himalayas, the health of a river or local spring, the threat of flood disaster, and the availability of water to farmlands and swelling cities can play a key role in the survival of ecosystems, communities and individuals.

Relevant Publications

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Digital polygon dataset of Soil erosivity of Koshi Basin. The dataset is created using Solid maps of Nepal, India, and FAO and represents the average long term soil response to the erosive power associated with rainfall and runoff. It shows a measure of the suseptibility of soil particles to detachment an trasport by rainfall and runoff.

Average data for whole Indus from year 1951 to 2007 in ASCII format. It is an Aphrodite data with 0.25 resolution in x and y direction. The APHRODITE project develops state-of-the-art daily precipitation datasets with high-resolution grids. The datasets are created primarily with data obtained from a rain-gauge-observation network.

Science applications

The Koshi Basin Information System (KBIS) provides a platform for collecting various types of data from all available sources, structuring the collected information, and storing the data through the Regional Database Initiative of ICIMOD. 

This will facilitate data and information sharing as well data visualization to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and communication among the stakeholders and general users concerned with the Koshi River basin.


The Regional Flood Information System (RFIS) essentially comprises of real-time river level, rainfall, and related data from 38 selected hydrometeorological stations, adequate national and regional databases and data management systems, and visualisation of data through web based system. It also provides regional flood outlook on aa daily basis for Ganges and Brahmaputra basins. The objective of the RFIS is to improve both accuracy and lead times of flood forecasts.