River Basins and Cryosphere
The Indus Basin Initiative seeks to build climate resilience across four riparian countries – Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan – by improving the current understanding of water resources and related opportunities and challenges.
Improved understanding of the impact of climate and related changes in the cryospheric and cryo-hydrological regimes, leading to better adaptation strategies
River Basins and Cryosphere
Arun Bhakta Shrestha
Strategic Group Lead, SG-1: Reducing Climate and Environment Risks
Improved water resource management in mountain areas is essential for the sustainable development of the region and downstream countries. We seek to increase understanding of water resources-related issues in the basin.
The mighty Indus River is a lifeline for the 268 million people who inhabit the river basin, which includes parts of Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan. The basin is composed of mountainous areas of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Himalaya. The Indus River is a major source of water for drinking, household use, irrigation, and energy production in the region. Despite its critical role in sustaining life in the basin, the state of knowledge on the Indus remains far from adequate. Knowledge of key aspects of the river, and information on the effects of climate change on regional rainfall patterns and water balance and snow cover are either confined to academic circles or exist in scattered forms.
Realizing this, we started the Indus Basin Initiative in 2013 with the goal of improving understanding of climate change, cryosphere, and water resources and strengthening networks for developing water- and hazard-management solutions in the Indus basin. We work to generate and share knowledge of water–energy–food issues and to build climate resilience in the four basin countries. We also carry out dialogue and advocacy to promote regional cooperation in the HKH.
Actionable proposals for integrated water resource management practices and policies; improved water, food, and energy security; and multi-sectoral collaboration on common challenges
Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan
The Indus Knowledge Partnership Platform (IKPP) is a comprehensive repository of existing knowledge on the Indus River basin.
Learn how climate change is impacting the Indus basin and how we are building resilience against those changes.
The Initiative conducts research and exchanges knowledge on agricultural water and hazard management. It has improved understanding of present and future water availability and use in the basin and improved the resilience of riparian communities in the basin through drought information and early warning about upstream flood situations.
News and features
Events around the HKH
CBFEWS is an integrated system of tools and plans managed by and for communities, providing real-time flood warnings to reduce flood risks.
A fifth of the world’s population depends on rivers that are born in the HKH. Winding for 3,500 kilometres through remote steppes, terraced farmlands, and crowded cities, the 10 largest Asian river systems form ecological communities that are the homes of 210 million people in the mountains and over 1.3 billion people downstream.
The dataset is part of phenometrics produced using time series MODIS 13 Q1 data throught Timesat algorithms.
The mountain climates of the Indus basin are influenced by the broad global circulation patterns associated with latitude, position in the continental mass, and proximity to oceans.
The Indus basin supports a population of about 268 million people, whose livelihoods are directly or indirectly dependent on it.
You will find publications produced or related to this Initiative in HimalDoc, our publications repository. These resources include journal articles, books, book chapters, research reports, working papers, brochures, information sheets, and publicity materials, among other products.
Read more about our impactful work in the Indus basin.