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First authors workshop for the HKH springs outlook





Date & Time

04 June 2024 to 08 June 2024

About the workshop

The Himalayan Resilience Enabling Action Programme (HI-REAP) is organising the first authors workshop of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Springs Outlook, which aims to take stock of spring knowledge from science, policy, and practice in the region. The outlook strives to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of springs capturing their ecological, cultural, and socio-economic significance, as well as identifying the drivers of degradation and drying, potential future risks, and opportunities. The workshop will bring together more than 60 multi-disciplinary experts, selected through a call for nominations from the HKH region and beyond.

The event is supported by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) under the Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) programme.


  • Take stock of spring science and policy and discuss policy enablers and barriers of springs management in the region
  • Draft an annotated outline of the HKH Springs Outlook
  • Discuss the content of chapters and begin work on the zero-drafts of the chapters
  • Identify next steps to develop and finalise zero-draft of the chapters


The HKH region is known as the ‘water tower of Asia’ for containing the headwaters of ten major Asian river systems. Springs are an important source of water for both humans and non-humans in the HKH. They play a crucial role in maintaining the flow of rivers and sustaining the livelihoods of communities. In the dry season, when glacier melt and snowmelt are limited, springs sustain river flows and act as a reliable source of water for drinking, irrigation, and hydropower generation.

Springs are the primary water source for millions of people and supply over 90% of the water needed for domestic and productive use in the mid-hills of the region. At higher elevations, they have direct connections with glaciers and permafrost. They also provide water for biodiversity and ecosystems, supporting flora and fauna. However, the springs in the HKH region are facing various challenges. Climate change is altering precipitation patterns and the cryosphere, affecting the availability and timing of spring flows. Sustainable springshed management at scale also requires information but there are limited studies on springs in the region. Information on the status, trends and the links with ecology, economy, society, and politics are very limited.

The HKH Springs Outlook attempts to close the gaps in spring science and provide recommendations for policy and practice. It aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of springs capturing their ecological, cultural, and socio-economic significance in the region, the main drivers of drying and degradation, the potential future risks, and opportunities. Based on this, the report will provide an outlook for the future of springs, including recommendations for policy and management actions. The HKH Springs Outlook will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, researchers, managers, and stakeholders in the region to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions for sustainable springshed management.

The proposed activity contributes to the wider adoption of springshed management as a nature-based solution, one of components within the HI-REAP programme. The HKH springs assessment will help understand the status of springs, drivers, enablers, and barriers of springs drying and recommend actions for policy uptake by the regional member countries of the HKH region.