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The Hindu Kush Himalaya is the pulse of the planet. Being at the top of the world, changes happen here before they happen anywhere else and the beat of this place vibrates across the globe. We are ICIMOD. Together with our partners, we protect the pulse.
I feel fortunate that ICIMOD colleagues have the opportunity to work at home, and to safely work during this COVID-19 crisis. We also appreciate the many actions of our regional member countries in containing the spread of the disease. At the same time, this crisis has opened our eyes to many vulnerabilities of mountain people and reinforced to us the importance of our work in amplifying the voices of mountain people and in working towards a prosperous future for the HKH.
Mala GeoScience ProEx ground penetrating radar (GPR) with a 30 MHz Rough Terrain Antenna (RTA) to measure the ice thickness and thermal regime of Rikha Samba Glacier in 2015.
New study warns of looming water insecurity in Himalayan towns.
The landscape approach, which informs the Hindu Kush Himalayan transect concept, provides insights into making science more relevant to a general audience and can help research findings gain better traction in regional policies and practices.
The Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC) is a self-sustaining community-based institutional model in Wa San Dam Village in Putao District of Kachin State.
Prakash, A; Molden, D (2020) ‘Editorial Mapping challenges for adaptive water management in Himalayan towns.’ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 1–8. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2020.000
We look at the challenges of water management in 12 towns from four corners of the Himalayan region that are facing challenges of changing water budgets, increasing water demand, and water scarcity. We map future challenges that these towns will face in a “business-as-usual” scenario. These cases draw from primary research and fill an important knowledge gap about the status of water resources and water supply in Himalayan towns. We highlight the concerns around unplanned and haphazard development in the region, which is leading to problems of inequity in water supply and unequal developmental outcomes. We also identify areas for future research and action on urban issues in the region. Pervin, IA; Rahman, SMM; Nepal, M; Haque, AKE; Karim, H; Ganesh Dhakal, G (2020) ‘Adapting to urban flooding: a case of two cities in South Asia.’ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 162–188. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.174 Given the limited capacity of drainage systems in South Asian cities, urban flooding and waterlogging is expected to intensify. The problem gets worse with unplanned urban growth in low-lying areas and inadequate solid waste management. Using hydraulic models for two South Asian cities, Sylhet (Bangladesh) and Bharatpur (Nepal), we find that 22.3% of the land area in Sylhet and 12.7% in Bharatpur is under flooding risk. The flood risk area can be reduced to 3.6% in Sylhet and 5.5% in Bharatpur with structural interventions in the drainage system. However, this could increase to 18.5% in Sylhet and 7.6% in Bharatpur in five years without proper solid waste management, suggesting that the structural solution alone is almost ineffective in reducing long-term flooding risk. Sharma, G; Namchu, C; Nyima, K; Luitel, M; Singh, S; Goodrich, CG (2020) ‘Water management systems of two towns in the Eastern Himalaya: case studies of Singtam in Sikkim and Kalimpong in West Bengal states of India.‘ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 107–129. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.229 Singh, S; Shrestha, K; Hamal, M; Prakash, A (2020) ‘Perform or wither: role of water users’ associations in municipalities of Nepal.’ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 90–106. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.051 In Tansen and Damauli municipalities in Nepal, the presence of user groups has indicated that proper management of water can help people avert critical water shortages. However, performances of these user groups vary. This paper delves into the community-managed water systems in the two cities and how the performance varies across them. In Tansen, infrastructural constraints and operational hazards associated with the supply systems present challenges. Moreover, there is large-scale corruption, allowing low-grade vendors to operate in place of readily available efficient institutions. In Damauli, the systems have been rather perfectly managed, except for minor, periodic glitches. Funding has been good and community bonding has paid off. Bharti, N; Khandekar, N; Sengupta, P; Bhadwal, S; Kochhar, I (2020) ‘Dynamics of urban water supply management of two Himalayan towns in India.’ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 65–89. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.203 Virk, ZT; Khalid, B; Hussain, A; Ahmad, B; Dogar, SS; Raza, N; Iqbal, B (2020) ‘Water availability, consumption and sufficiency in Himalayan towns: a case of Murree and Havellian towns from Indus River Basin, Pakistan‘ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 46–64. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.012 Singh, V; Pandey, A (2020) ‘Urban water resilience in Hindu Kush Himalaya: issues, challenges and way forward.’ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 33–45. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.329 Singh, S; Hassan, SMT; Hassan, M; Bharti, N (2020) ‘Urbanisation and water insecurity in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Insights from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.’ In Water Policy 22 (S1): 9–32. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2019.215