Upper Indus Basin (UIB) Monitoring Working Group

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Second roundtable meeting of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB)-Monitoring Working Group (MWG) was held at the campus of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Islamabad on 19 November with Mr. Khalid (KM) Mohtadullah in Chair. Agenda and list of participants is annexed.

After a warm welcome to the participants by Mr. Arif Mahmood, Director General (DG) PMD, Dr. Amir Muhammad (DAM) deliberated on the background and need of this UIB-MWG. Dr. Amir Muhammad emphasized that ICIMOD has strong interest in UIB to address the threatened agricultural production systems and eventually food security because of gradual water shortage. He also stressed upon developing a mechanism for data sharing between the key stakeholders to enhance the understanding of the prevailing scenario of UIB.

Dr. Abdul Wahid Jasra presented a concept note of ICIMOD entitled ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Upper Indus Basin’ for further discussions and suggestions to convert it into a regional programme on UIB (Annexure 3).

Discussions

  • Prof. Matthias Winiger (PMW) suggested focusing initially on less political research components.
  • DAM emphasized to looking for neutral areas while accepting ICIMOD as common forum for all partners to move further.
  • KM reiterated to knowing clearly the viewpoints of WAPDA and PMD with regard to data sharing and associated issues if any.
  • Mr. Daniyal Hashmi (DH) while responding to KM explained that although data is not being analysed data has been shared with various partners like universities, the World Bank, PMD, GCISC etc. He mentioned that there were certain restrictions on data sharing and WAPDA is sceptical about who was really the user of its data. Primarily the data is for WAPDA use however, restricted data is made available on charge basis.
  • KM asked for common framework for data generation, sharing and its methodology.
  • Dr. Nadeem Amjad suggested filtering out the issues beyond UIB to remain within the mandate.
  • KM did urge for an agreement on common objectives or framework to be achieved rather going for open directions.
  • DAM was interested in assessment of the happenings in UIB.
  • Dr. Ghulam Rasul (GR) reported that there were only 30 met stations as compared to a requirement of >100 and asked for additional thoughts be given to current needs for the data generation.
  • MW wanted to know about the problem UIB-MWG is aiming to investigate.Mr. Raffaele Del Cima (RDC) wanted to see the data generation as per standards of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which was supported by MW.
  • GR mentioned about some technical problems being experienced in routine maintenance of the stations particularly blockade of sensors to generate quality data. Km suggested addressing these kinds of technical problems in new proposals/projects under capacity building component.
  • DH informed about a new programme of WAPDA under which new stations will be installed and old will be upgraded.
  • MW raised the question of networking between all the stakeholders and mechanism to share and integrate this data coming from hill/mountain tops, valleys, villages, remote sensing etc. He suggested a joint field visit to discuss this matter on the spot to chalk out a workable programme. Mr. RDC also pointed out that coordination is key to the success and should be the real mandate of UIB-MWG. MW stressed upon nature of case studies where as RDC thought site maps were very important for future planning.
  • KM and GR responded while referring these issues to be addressed under the concept note on ICIMOD and requested all to send comments on it as soon as possible. MW did urge everyone to forward comments on CN of ICIMOD with no delay. RDC wanted to look at it carefully so there is duplication of on-going work like under GLOF. GR raised also his concerns about duplication. KM reiterated that WAPDA and PMD were the key stakeholders in the whole roadmap to be built however UNDP should also be taken on board.
  • While discussing the scope of this UIB project for donors MW suggested specific donors like Norway to be approached. In this context, RDC suggested lobbying for this project with EU, ADB to create sensitization about the UIB specific problems.
  • Mr. Ghazanfar Ali (GA) was against any further delays to get started on UIB assessment and understanding.
  • DH informed the participants about an opportunity of grant money with ADB to address the issue of climate change in Pakistan.
  • KM was of the view that need for high altitude hydrology was well established and securing funds fir this kid of project should not be a problem.
  • During discussions it was proposed to create a technical group to take the process of proposal development further and MW entrusted upon ICIMOD Pakistan Office as coordinating body for this group. RDC wanted to be very clear about the mandate of this group.
  • DH, GR and Dr. Bashir Ahmad made presentations on behalf of their organizations. They presented the capacity of their organization, on-going activities and kind of outputs with regard to UIB being generated.

Conclusion


There is a need to comparing standards, baseline climatology, share datasets, established gradients, UIB water balance picture; a bigger problem.

Joint field visit of all UIB-MWG to mutually agreed sites in Gilgit Baltistan in June 2013 to discuss and develop a framework for UIB future collaboration.

Mobilize a small technical group within UIB-WMG to fine tune the concept note of ICIMOD and convert possibly it into a proposal.

There is need to comparing standards, baseline climatology, share data sets, established gradients, UIB water balance picture, a bigger problem.

Decisions


Following members of the technical group were identified:

  • Mr. Daniyal Hashmi, WAPDA
  • Dr. Ghulam Rasul, PMD
  • Dr. Bashir Ahmad, PARC Prof. Matthias Winiger
  • Mr. Ghazanfar Ali, GCISC
  • Mr. Raffaele Del Cima, EVK2NNR
  • Dr. Bashir Ahmad, PARC
  • Dr. Abdul Wahid Jasra, ICIMOD Pakistan Office

It was agreed that this group would meet again next day 20 November at 10:00 in ICIMOD Pakistan Office to further work on concept note. It was agreed that Mr. Danial Hashmi would join the group discussions through Skype.

It was agreed that by end of December 2012 a draft proposal will be ready to be discussed during a proposed workshop in January 2013.

The next day, 20 November, meeting of the group in the absence of Mr. Danial Hashmi and Dr. Ghulam Rasul was held and after lengthy discussion Prof. Matthias Winiger volunteered to come up with the first revised draft of the concept note in line with the discussions of the technical group.

Round table ended with a vote of thanks to the Director General, PMD for being a generous host. Thanks were extended to all members who travelled from other cities on a short notice to join this forum for the cause of UIB monitoring.

Mr. Khalid Mohtadullah,
Chair, UIB Monitoring Working Group
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