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. 

Publications

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Datasets

Digital polygon dataset of Sub Basin Boundary of Koshi Basin. This dataset is created using Topographic sheet data at scale of 25,000/50,000 of 1995 acquired from National Geographic Information Infrastructure Project (NGIIP), Dept. of Survey, Kathmandu, Nepal and ESRI Global dataset.


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Digital line dataset of Basin Boundary of Koshi Basin. This dataset is created using Topographic sheet data at scale of 25,000/50,000, of 1995 acquired from National Geographic Information Infrastructure Project (NGIIP), Dept. of Survey, Kathmandu, Nepal and ESRI Global dataset.


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Digital polygon data of Status of Glaciers in Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region during 2005 ± 3 (2002-2008) years. This dataset is created using Landsat ETM+ imageries of respective years. The glacier outlines was derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC ) method separately for clean ice and debris cover and further editing and validation was done carefully by draping over the high resolution images from Google Earth. The attribute data were assigned to each glacier using 90m resolution SRTM DEM. Source: ICIMOD and CAREERI (data for the Chinese part of the HKH region is a product of a national project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant no. 2006FY110200))


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Digital polygon dataset of Major River Basins of China. This dataset is basic vector layer acquired from USGS.


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Digital polygon dataset of River Basins of China. This dataset is basic vector layer acquired from USGS.


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Digital line data of Major River systems of Myanmar. This dataset is created using 1:250,000 scale map of Myanmar published by Department of Survey of Myanmar.


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Digital polygon data of River Basin boundary of Myanmar. This dataset is created using 1:250,000 scale map of Myanmar published by Department of Survey of Myanmar.


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Digital polygon dataset of Major River Basins of Pakistan. This dataset is Basic Vector layer derived from ESRI Map & Data 2001.


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Digital polygon dataset of River Basins of Pakistan. This dataset is Basic Vector layer derived from ESRI Map & Data 2001.


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Digital polygon dataset of River Basins of Afghanistan. This dataset is basic vector layer derived from Afghanistan Information Management Systems (AIMS), Afghanistan.


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Science applications