Shimla, March 22: There are strong indications that the Hindu Kush, a mountain range extending west of the Himalayas, would be warmer and precipitation would increase, intertiol water experts said on Sunday. They favoured effective flood magement that requires sharing data and information between the upstream and downstream areas, not only within the country but also at the trans-boundary level. “Technological innovations based on satellite information, in combition with ground-based data, can be transformed into information that can prove vital in saving lives and properties,” Santosh Nepal and Arun B. Shrestha, water experts for the Kathmandu-based Intertiol Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), said.
The Hindu Kush Himalayan region depends on water resources for irrigation, food, hydropower, sanitation, and industry, as well as for the functioning of many important ecosystem services. World Water Day falls on Sunday and this year’s United tions theme is ‘Water and sustaible development’. In a write-up, ‘The Himalayan waters: Complex challenges and regiol solutions’, the experts said agriculture is a major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.
In Nepal, it contributes to 35 percent of the tiol GDP. The Indus River system is a source of irrigation for about 144,900 hectares of land, whereas the Ganga basin provides irrigation for 156,300 hectares of agricultural land. The experts said Koshi Flood Outlook being developed by ICIMOD and its tiol partners in Nepal and India have high potential for saving lives and properties in the basin. Such efforts should be promoted widely in the region, they said.
During the Jure landslide in August 2014 in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district, in which the Sunkoshi river was blocked for several days, a great concern emerged from the Indian side regarding the status of the landslide and the likelihood of an outburst flood. The flood outlook was helpful in providing important information. This example shows that disaster risk reduction could be an entry point for immediate regiol cooperation, said the article. It warned that due to its physical setting, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is prone to various water-induced hazards. Every year during the monsoon, the floods bring havoc to the mountains and the plains downstream. These floods are often trans-boundary. Globally, 10 percent of all floods are trans-boundary and they cause over 30 percent of all flood casualties. (IANS)