Upstream and downstream are connected. So are natural resources and human livelihoods. Improving the management of water resources in the Hindu Kush Himalayas means recognizing those connections and building them into policy making and development planning.
Thinking of regions in terms of their river basins is an approach that runs through much of ICIMOD’s programming. Taking a “River Basin Approach” means that the livelihood needs of the millions of distant but interconnected people who live within a catchment area can be balanced with the natural functions of the river systems they rely upon.
It’s a multidisciplinary management approach that fosters regional and transboundary dialogue and addresses a range of topics, from specific issues such as flood preparedness to broad areas such as cryosphere dynamics, climate change, mountain community water management, and vulnerability and adaptation.
ICIMOD’s current focus is on five river basins – the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Koshi and Gandaki -- with more to be developed in the future. Goals include improved estimates of future water availability and water management strategies that effectively serve both the local communities and the vast, populous river basins as a whole.