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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is looking for experts to contribute to the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Springs Outlook, which we will be published in 2026. The HKH Springs Outlook is a comprehensive assessment which explores the current state of springs in the HKH region, their drivers of change, impacts on water resources, biodiversity, and people, and provides future scenarios in the region.
We invite institutions to nominate experts or the experts to nominate themselves to contribute to the drafting and review process of the Outlook. Nominated experts should be knowledgeable about springs and have expertise in the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, ecology, cultural studies, human geography, forestry, and environmental management. Experts can include policy makers, academicians, researchers, practitioners, Indigenous peoples, and community members who can provide valuable insights into springs and their management.
Please submit your nominations by sending an email with the experts’ CV to Sunita Chaudhary at firstname.lastname@example.org by 20 October 2023. Selected experts will be notified by the end of October 2023. Authors will be credited for their contributions in the publication and invited to a writeshop.
Contributors are expected to attend monthly e-meetings and the in-person annual writeshop, and actively participate in the drafting and finalising the Outlook, with an estimated average of 2–3 working days per month.
Springs in the HKH region are essential sources of water and play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle. They contribute to the base flow of rivers and sustain the livelihoods of communities thus contributing to the socio-economic, cultural, and ecological wellbeing of the region. The HKH region, often known as the ‘water tower of Asia’, contains the headwaters of 10 major rivers and provides water to more than 1.9 billion people.
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. Deforestation, unsustainable land use practices, and urbanisation are further exacerbating the problems by reducing water infiltration and recharge of aquifers that feed springs. The decline in spring flows has negative impacts on water availability, agriculture, and livelihoods. Communities that rely on springs for drinking water and irrigation are particularly vulnerable. Reduced water availability can lead to conflict and competition among communities and hinder socio-economic development. Cases have been reported where communities have migrated out due to water scarcity caused by drying up of springs. Restoring springs and sustainable management of springsheds is crucial for ensuring water security, ecosystem health, sustainable development, and the well-being of communities in the region.
The HKH Springs Outlook aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of springs capturing their ecological, cultural, and socio-economic significance, the drivers of drying and degradation, and 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. It will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, researchers, managers, and stakeholders to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions for sustainable springshed management.
Thank you for your nominations and continued support to ICIMOD.
Read the scoping report here.
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