BY: HALEEMA ATTAULLAH
The Hollings Center for International Dialogues, a non-profit and non- government organization, hosted two full day training workshop on: “Hydro-climatic Modelling Techniques in the HKH region” in Dubai. The training focused on how researchers from the HKH region; Pakistan and its neighboring country Afghanistan have carried out post-graduate research in the field of hydro-climatology and their potential impacts on socio-economic development concomitant with sustainable natural resource management. The hydro-climate modelling training provided by two water and climate change experts, Dr. Asif Khan and Dr. Shahid Iqbal together with experts from different fields, Ms. Hina Lotia, Mr. Tauqeer Sheikh and Dr. Dr. Abdul Qayeum Karim. The training encompassed use of two hydrological models: SRM and ArcSWAT. The experts explained use of these models together with importance of input datasets, required for improved hydro-climate modelling and sustainable natural resource management. The workshop has been observed by Ms. Asli Mutlu from the Hollings Center of International Dialogues. The participants provided positive feedback about the workshop and suggested improvement for future events.
Why do we need hydro-climate modelling in the HKH region?
It is expected that in the near future, the HKH region hydrological cycle will be disturbed due to global warming, which shall alter the timing and intensity of snow- and glacier-melt together with extreme events (e.g. flood, droughts, cyclones etc), and may adversely affect various sectors linked with water resources. Water is significantly dependent on snow- and glacier-melt in the HKH region, and fulfill needs of about one fifth of global population living in the river basins of the region. Changing climate is therefore likely to produce adverse implications on livelihood of people in the HKH region, through changes in irrigation water availability and timings, hydro-power generation and food production together with rise in conflicts over the natural resources availability and use among trans-boundary shared river basins’ countries. Therefore, accurate and precise hydro-climate modelling plays vital role in sustainable natural resources planning and management.
How can the above workshop play a role in policy making and sustainable natural resources development and management?
Precise and accurate hydro-climate modelling produces good projections about the future water resources projections, which is needed for well-informed policy making and Climate Resilient Water Resources Development and Management (CRWRDM). The workshop provided detailed overview and training about robust methods, best datasets and widely used hydrological models in the HKH region. The trainers explained how to build and prepare hydrological model, data and carryout calibration and validation in the region. Data availability and their constraints have also been discussed in great detail. Scenarios development, coupling and GCMs/RCMs selection and use were also explained. The participants received responses to various questions, and shared their ideas, knowledge and ongoing research. The trainees received due knowledge about hydro-climate modelling, which is pivotal in accurate policy making and water resources development and management.
Feedback and future potential of the workshop
All the participants provided positive feedback about the workshop. Participants’ research presentations have been highly appreciated, as this opened platform for discussions of mutual interest. The participants provided feedback to see more female researchers/participants from the region. The workshop will enhance ease in sharing trans-boundary available resources and open room for dialogues and collaborative research. The participants thanked Hollings Center for organizing the workshop, and hoped for future such events.
Haleema AttaUllah is assistant professor at UET, Peshawar.