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An India-UK Water Centre workshop on Integrating precipitation forecasts and climate predictions with basin-scale hydrological modelling in the Himalayas was held over three days at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India on the 2nd – 4th May 2018.
The Himalayan region and downstream areas are strongly affected by hydrological variability. Hydrological forecasts for the Himalayas for days to seasons ahead can benefit stakeholders such as dam operators, farmers, industry, and water management boards in planning their day-to-day activities, while long-term projections help adapting to climate change. They are also crucial to mitigate against risks associated with floods and droughts.
The current situation in India is characterised by the availability of state-of-the-art global and regional weather forecasting and climate models, as well as of glacio-hydrological models. However, a key challenge for providing hydrological forecasts is the integration of weather forecast and climate models with glacio-hydrological models which are still in a pioneering phase and not operationally available. A major problem are precipitation biases in weather and climate models, which in turn lead to biases in the output of glacio-hydrological models. Moreover, not all important processes, basin properties and water use aspects are incorporated in glacio-hydrological models, partly due to scarce observations. This workshop will develop ways forward, by addressing the most relevant scientific questions, as well as practical, organisational and capacity issues.
The aim of the workshop was to foster the development of short-, medium-, and long-term hydrological predictions for Himalayan basins by specifying how integrated meteo-hydrological prediction systems for the region can be improved. The specific objectives were to:
- Discuss solutions for key scientific problems that hamper integrated modelling, for instance precipitation biases and choice of suitable statistical post-processing/correction methods, or availability of observations for model evaluation and defining initial conditions.
- Assess the current state of meteorological and glacio-hydrological modelling capabilities and identify gaps and ways forward, including how to gain synergies by increasing cross-institutional collaboration.
- Increase the collaboration between the meteorological and hydrological communities.