Australia Extends Expertise In Water Resource Management To Asia

Scientists from CSIRO in Australia will help develop a transboundary management system for the Koshi River Basin.

Asian Scientist (Jul. 3, 2013) – Scientists from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, will share their expertise in transboundary river basin management to help improve the livelihoods of people living in some of the poorest parts of Asia.

CSIRO and its partners have begun work in the Koshi River Basin which stretches from China, across the Himalayas through Nepal and discharges into the Ganges River in India.

There has been growing pressure to address development challenges in the Koshi Basin which is home to millions of people who rely on its fertile floodplains for their livelihoods.

In particular, the authorities have to deal with population growth and an increasing demand for energy, while working within constraints of natural hazards such as floods, drought, and landslides.

In a collaborative four-year project, scientists from CSIRO will provide technical assistance to help develop an integrated basin-wide modelling system to improve management of the Koshi River Basin.

The system will incorporate information on water availability, freshwater environments and the ecosystem services they provide. It will also include social considerations such as the effect of changes in water availability on livelihoods.

It is hoped that information obtained from the system will aid in efforts to develop the Koshi Basin in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

“Australia has a long history of managing a scarce and variable water resource, and sharing this resource amongst competing users,” said Dr Carol Couch from CSIRO.

“There is much the Australian water experience will bring to this project to help improve sustainable development and climate resilience, reduce water stress, and inform water-related decision making and transboundary issues.”


Source: CSIRO; Photo: Santosh Nepal/CSIRO.
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