Application of the Satellite Rainfall Estimation in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region

Since 2001, ICIMOD has been actively engaged in close collaboration with regional partner countries on flood disaster mitigation. As part of the activity, a long-term project on ‘Regional Cooperation in Flood Forecasting and Information Exchange in the HKH Region’ was funded by the United States Agency for International Development, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). In the monsoon of 2004, ICIMOD shared with its partners the 24 hr, 48 hr and 72 hr rainfall forecasts over the HKH region made available by OFDA to all its partners. The feedback and interest expressed by partners of the HKH region in rainfall estimation trainings were shared with OFDA. Trainings on Satellite Rainfall Estimation and Associated Technologies for the Mekong River Riparian Countries were held under the Asia Flood Network (AFN) programme of the USAID-OFDA. Similar training workshops were held in the HKH region in 2005 and 2006 to transfer the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and United States Geological Survey (USGS) technology in Satellite Rainfall Estimation (SRE) to partners in the region. On the basis of the implementation plans developed by the partner countries during the 2005 workshop and the interest expressed in strengthening rainfall monitoring and its applications in the partner countries, a project on Application of Satellite Rainfall Estimates in the HKH Region has been developed and implemented jointly by ICIMOD, its partner countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan, NOAA/USGS, and USAID/OFDA.


The project ‘Application of Satellite Rainfall Estimates in the HKH Region’ aims to minimise the loss of lives and properties via reduction in natural vulnerability to floods and droughts in the HKH region, in particular the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Basins.  The project seeks to strengthen regional cooperation in flood forecasting and information exchange and build capacity amongst the partner institutions.

Specific Objectives

Validate the satellite rainfall estimation by various methods; test the USGS Geospatial Streamflow model (GeoSFM) for selected basins and explore its applications


June 2006 - December 2007

Geographical coverage


Core financial partners/development partners/sponsors

Financial: United States Agency for International Development Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
Technical: USGS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Technical

Implementing partners

Bangladesh: Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD)
Bhutan: Hydro-meteorological Services Division, Department of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan
China: China Meteorological Administration, China Bureau of Hydrology, Tibet Meteorological Bureau, Bureau of Hydrology, Tibet AR
India: National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), North-East Centre for Environmental Research and Development (NE-CERD)
Nepal: Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Department of Water Induced Prevention, Department of Meteorology - Tri-Chandra Campus (Tribhuvan University), Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Tribhuvan University)
Pakistan: Flood Forecasting Division (FFD), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD)

Contact information

Mandira Shrestha
Water Resources specialist
Integrated Water and Hazard Management

Pradeep Mool
Remote Sensing Specialist
Integrated Water and Hazard Management