Improving Sediment Knowledge

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ICIMOD and DHM giving hands-on training to the gauge readers

A training for readers of sediment measurement in selected gauging stations of the Koshi River basin in Nepal was organised by the Government of Nepal's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Koshi Basin Programme from 17-18 May. The stations are based on some of Nepal's key rivers - Indrawati-Bhote Koshi, Tamakoshi, Arun, Tamor and Sapta Koshi - which are part of the transboundary Koshi River system, shared by China, India and Nepal.

The gauge readers play an important role in collecting river data and maintaining and operating equipment at the monitoring stations. The quality of the information is key to preparedness and management of flood disasters for both the government and river basin communities.

A sediment sampler equipment provided by ICIMOD

DHM’s Hare Ram Lamichhane said hands-on experience would be of great benefit to the gauge readers and improve data collected.

‘The new data on sediment load will help us to better quantify the sediment load in the Koshi River basin’, Lamichhane said.

The training is a key part of the collaborative initiative between ICIMOD and DHM helping to improve data and knowledge on sediment load and water discharge. A team of technical experts from both organisations traveled to Chatara in eastern region of Nepal to train nine gauge readers from five gauging stations Pachuwarghat, Busti, Turkighat, Majhitar and Chatara to enhance their knowledge and skills in sediment collection. Part of the training was to demonstrate how to use the new sediment collection equipment, provided by ICIMOD. These new equipment included a sediment sampler, a filtration set for sediment collection, a current meter, and a sounding reel for discharge measurement. 

Santosh Nepal, a water and climate specialist from ICIMOD explained that information gathered was crucial to reduce water-related hazards due to heavy amount of sediments deposited in the southern plains of the Koshi river basin. 

‘The data will help us understand the overall sediment load in the Koshi river including the load from the different sub-catchments’, Nepal said.

The sediment sampling equipment was taken to the middle part of the river in Chatara to collect samples. The gauge readers then carried out the filtration and completed the data sheets.  

After a month of the training, a full scale work on the sediment data collection started during first week of June 2016 and will continue for next two years. The gauge readers have targeted to collect 180 samples within a year, in pre-monsoon, during monsoon and post-monsoon periods.