Water resource is the main natural resource of Nepal. The main
river systems of Nepal like Saptakoshi, Gandaki, Karnali and Mahakali
are fed from the melting of snow and glacier ice in the Himalayas. All
major rivers are of Nepal are perennial with ample amount of water available
throughout the year. There is high possibility to built many new hydroelectric
power plants and water supply plants for drinking and irrigation purposes
in order to take benefit of this vast natural resource in the economic
development of the country as well as development of the other nations
of south Asian region by exporting hydropower where power demand is very
high. For equal national development as well as local demand of hydropower
due to economic activities, hydropower plants are being established on
higher elevation, too. Since the higher elevation encountered with glacial
environment, it is necessary to give due attention to glaciers and glacier
lakes which are highly vulnerable to climatic changes occurring worldwide.
In Nepal also, the impact of climate change on glaciers has been seen
and many existing glacial lakes are expanding and some new are forming.
Water induced disasters are also on increasing. Extreme events of precipitation
(drought and flood) are increasing in number. Recent studies showed that
most Himalayan glaciers are retreating probably due to increase in air
temperature. If the current rate of glacier retreat continues, it will
have a direct impact on availability of water on rivers for different
purposes such as hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking in near
future. Therefore, it is very urgent to study impact of climate change
on Nepalese glaciers and consequently on Nepalese water resources for
proper and sustainable development of water resources.
In this context, till now there is no any institution in Nepal which
carries out researches on snow, glaciers, glacier lakes, water induced
disaster and climate change which are main influencing components of
water resource development in Nepal and produces young researchers in
these subjects. Therefore, the Disaster Management and Sustainable Development
Center (DMSDC) is renamed to the Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster
Research Center (HiCCDRC) in October 2009 which is under the Department
of Environmental Science and Engineering (DESE), School of Science (SOS)
in Kathmandu University (KU), Dhulikhel, Nepal.
The main objective of the center is to carry out research on cryospheric
science and climate change related issues and produce young researchers
in these fields.
The specific objectives of the center include: