Task Force 2: Water, Ice, Snow including Glaciers

Title: Long Term Sustainability of Himalayan Water Resources


Because of its geography, the Himalayan region is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The rise in mean temperature here has been higher than the global average, and this trend is expected to continue. Glacial retreat is one of the serious concerns in the Himalayas, and this is expected to affect timing, location, and volume of the stream flow in significant ways. The enormous hydroelectric potential is partially offset by the hazardous factors of slope instability, high sediment discharge, extremes in flow, and vulnerability of structures to seismic activity. Ecological and hydrological data are unavailable. The entire Himalayan region is afflicted with a serious problem of soil erosion and the rivers flowing through this region transport a heavy load of sediment.

In view of the challenges, the task force focuses on addressing the issue of comprehensive integrated hydrological studies for upper Ganga basin up to Rishikesh.


  • Analysis of existing and proposed hydrological and hydro-meteorological netwok in the study area and collaboration with State agencies and other concerned departments/ agencies for development of a network of automated telemetry stations for providing the hydrological and hydro-meteorological data for research and development. Investigation of the available spatial database from number of satellites for use in water resources analysis. 
  • Capacity building of the State agencies and other relevant departments/agencies for the use of software for maintaining the database in HIS. 
  • Downscaling of future scenarios of climate change at the scale of river basin and calibrate and validate hydrological models for selected area for determining various hydrological components, spatial and temporal water availability, and for estimating the relative contributions of snow, glaciers, and rainfall in the flow characteristics in the present and changed climate scenarios. 
  • Development of the regional flood frequency relationships for estimation of floods of various return periods and to determine representative design floods in selected area including flood hazard zoning. 
  • Systematic hydrological investigations for selected lakes to suggest scientific measures for their conservation and management. 
  • Study of the hydrological behaviour of selected Himalayan springs and evaluate possible impacts of climate change on their flow characteristics. 
  • To understand the climate forcing on the Himalayan cryosphere through orographic processes, integrated response of the Himalayan cryospheric system and to develop its linkage with the social sector for providing scientific inputs to policy formulation. 
  • Assessment of the sediment yield from selected Himalayan catchment and to assess life of a reservoir under different climate change scenarios. 
  • To use isotope techniques for understanding of hydrological processes in selected Himalayan basins and to partition different components of stream runoff processes at different spatial and temporal scales to support calibration of hydrological models. 
  • To assess potentially dangerous glacial lakes in selected Himalayan basins for glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) studies. 
  • Generation of the information about the changing snow cover characteristics in study area for forecasting likely flows in river systems for planning adaptive strategies. 
  • Assessment of the existing operation policies of important water resources projects in study area in light of climate change impacts. 
  • Development of an interactive website for the study area

Coordinating Institute

National Institute of Hydrology, (NIH) Roorkee

Collaborating Institutes


Task Force Coordinators

Dr. Manmohan K. Goel Scientist 'F'
Jal Vigyan Bhawan, National Institute of Hydrology (NIH)
Roorkee Uttarakhand 247 667
Phone: 01332-249262
email: goel.mk1@gmail.com


Dr. Manohar Arora Scientist 'D'
Jal Vigyan Bhawan National Institute of Hydrology (NIH)
Roorkee Uttarakhand 247 667
Phone: 01332-249234, 01332-272123
email: manohararora19@gmail.com