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Indus Basin Initiative
The HKH region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east.
The HKH region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. It is the source of 10 large Asian river systems, including the Indus. The HKH provide water and other ecosystem services, and are the basis of the livelihoods of 240 million people in the region. Improved water resource management in mountain areas is essential for the sustainable development of the region and downstream countries.
Despite the importance of the Indus Basin, knowledge on the spatial and temporal aspects of water balance in the basin and the HKH region is inadequate. Rainfall—as short-term provider of runoff—and melting snow, and seasonal and melting ice—as long-term inputs to run-off—are theoretically well understood.
However, knowledge of the seasonal patterns of rainfall, spatial dynamics of seasonal snow cover, and the overall volume of the ice-reservoir (including permafrost) in the HKH is heterogeneous, with only some areas well documented. An overall, reliable climate sensitive water-balance model for the Upper Indus Basin is yet to be developed. The Indus Initiative seeks to contribute to increasing understanding of these and other issues.
Why Work in the Indus Basin?
The goal is to improve understanding of the impact of climate change and associated changes in the cryospheric and cryo-hydrological regimes to support research institutions, governments, and civil society organizations to develop better adaptation strategies and, in turn, underpin strategic thinking and interventions for enhanced community resilience in the Indus Basin.