The Hindu Kush Himalayan region is extremely vulnerable to various types of water-induced disasters, particularly floods and landslides. Due to its fragile geology, rugged terrain, and monsoon patterns, Nepal is prone to floods, landslides, and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Around 80% of the annual precipitation falls during the monsoon season, between June and September. While extreme rainfall events due to climate change are on the rise, flood risk communication, such as early warning systems, need strengthening.
Natural hazards often result in disasters due to inefficient risk communication. In Nepal, the investment required to gauge numerous flood-prone medium and small rivers, and the short lead time provided by in-situ flood early warning systems (EWS) are two major challenges.
Existing technical flood EWS provides hazard based warning and are susceptible to failure due to inadequate readiness level. The warning also limited to major rivers and many flood prone rivers/ rivulets without flood warning provision.
The service intends to use downscaled global flood discharge forecasts with routing models to forecast flood water levels in medium sized watersheds of Nepal, with 10–15 days lead time. The goal is to enhance response interventions through effective planning and preparedness, and reduce loss of property and life.
ICIMOD; Mercy Corps
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