Preliminary analysis of hydroclimate and streamflow modelling in the Koshi Basin: Climate, hydrology, ecology and institutional setting

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Penton, Dave; Neumann, Luis; Doody, Tanya; Foran, Tira; Grigg, Nicky ORCID ID icon; Zheng, Hongxing; Cuddy, Susan ORCID ID icon; Dolk, Michaela; Stratford, Danial; Siddiqui, Shawahiq; Boudier, Elise; Chua, Tashi; Fleming, David


2016-06-30


Report


68 p


The Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) is an Australian government initiative with the goal of increasing water, food and energy security in South Asia, targetting the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. A key target sector is water resource management. Within the SDIP, preliminary research by CSIRO has focussed on understanding the biophysical, cultural and policy environments of the Koshi Basin in China, Nepal and India. Part of this research examined the institutional context within which water resource management operates, using a series of semi-structured interviews. Respondents considered hydropower development as an opportunity, while on the other hand discussing the disparity of interests, values, and discourses as a challenge. The interviews suggest that within the governance context of the Koshi Basin, there is no recognised institutional framework for modelling to serve as a neutral platform to explore transboundary cooperation. There is no current institution that is considered impartial or unbiased. This limits the capacity to apply learnings on flood risk mitigation, agricultural productivity, or to avoid the cascading impacts of water resource decisions. Since there exists no neutral platform to imagine future development scenarios, CSIRO began the process of developing an Integrated Assessment Framework (IAF) that would support policymakers consider future development scenarios. The IAF would support understanding how cumulative impacts on livelihood outcomes are possible under different future water resource development scenarios and under what circumstances these impacts may be disproportionately benefiting or disadvantaging poorest households and in particular women and girls. This preliminary report describes the biophysical background around the Koshi Basin’s climate, hydrology, ecology and institutional setting. In-situ station observations and CMIP5 climate projections showed that temperatures were increasing and projections indicate these will likely increase in future (0.045°C/year historic). Using hydrological modelling, this study estimated that snow contributes around 7.3% of the annual streamflow at the Chatara gauge (near Nepal border), with ice melt contributing a further 2.7% (see limitations in the report). Most runoff is generated in the southern slopes of the Himalayas between 2000mASL and 3000mASL. This report presents methods to understand how possible future water resource development scenarios might differ. The methods of streamflow characterisation and conceptualisation of streamflow to ecology relationships, help to interpret changes to streamflow between scenarios, and understand the potential impacts of different scenarios on the river ecology and livelihoods of riparian communities. This is a preliminary analysis, focussing on the hydroclimate and streamflow modelling in the Koshi Basin. It is not complete; for example, it does not discuss all biophysical aspects (groundwater, geomorphology, sedimentation), it skims the surface on institutional arrangements and omits discussion on livelihood strategies of people in the Basin. However, it is expected that the broad modelling capacity described can support the dialogue between experts and stakeholders in China, Nepal, India and the broader international academic community, and in doing so contribute to the development of future analyses that would improve on this work.


CSIRO


Canberra


Surfacewater Hydrology


Published Version (pdf) (7.06MB)


https://doi.org/10.4225/08/58542e7064f4e


With the exception of the Australian government crest, Australian Aid and CSIRO logos, and where otherwise noted, all material in this publication is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This report has been placed on the CSIRO repository and may be made available to persons outside of CSIRO for non commercial purposes, in its entirety and without deletion of disclaimers and copyright information.


EP164390


Technical Report (Author)


English


Penton, Dave; Neumann, Luis; Doody, Tanya; Foran, Tira; Grigg, Nicky; Zheng, Hongxing; Cuddy, Susan; Dolk, Michaela; Stratford, Danial; Siddiqui, Shawahiq; Boudier, Elise; Chua, Tashi; Fleming, David. Preliminary analysis of hydroclimate and streamflow modelling in the Koshi Basin: Climate, hydrology, ecology and institutional setting. Canberra: CSIRO; 2016. https://doi.org/10.4225/08/58542e7064f4e



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