National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology


Cryosphere Monitoring Programme Bhutan

This project focused on developing and establishing a Cryosphere monitoring programme in Bhutan in partnership with International Center for Integrated Mountain Development(ICIMOD) with financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated through the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Katmandu. A scoping workshop was held on Jan 22 nd and 23 rd ,2014 at Paro Bhutan to discuss on the project objectives and activities. Important stakeholders also attended the workshop from Bhutan besides NCHM and ICIMOD experts. The Cryosphere Monitoring Program in Bhutan aims to build innsitutional capacity of NCHM as a mandated national organization, to undertake field and remote sensing based monitoring of glaciers and snow cover. The project was implemented from October 2014 and will be phasing out by the end of April 2019.

1. Project Outputs and Activities
Output 1: Relevant and reliable cryospheric (glacier and snow) and climate data timely produced for water resources assessments by operational services and research  institutions.
Activity 1.1: Generation of snow cover data based on improved MODIS snow mapping
algorithm for analysis of past, present and future snow fall pattern.
Activity 1.2 Establishment of in-situ snow and glacier measuring instruments at project sites to collect snow/glacier data as input to modelling exercise.
Activity 1.3 Establishment of hydrological and meteorological instruments at project site to collect hydrological and weather parameters as input to modelling exercise.
Activity 1.4 Geodetic mapping of selected glacier.
Output 2. Risks identified and analyzed in upstream & downstream in relation to GLOF.
Activity 2.1 Identification of hotspot glacier and glacial lake to prioritize for detailed assessment, and downstream risk assessment study.
Activity 2.2 Downstream GLOF risk assessment of one priority glacial lake.
Output 3. Relevant and reliable information on current and future water availability scenario timely produced for water resources assessments by operational services and research institutions

Activity 3.1 Assessment of current and future water availability scenario in one selected
basin using hydrological model.
Output 4. Enhanced institutional capacity and competence of national partners in Bhutan for sustained glaciological monitoring, glacio-hydrological modelling and scenario development and remote sensing of the cryosphere.
Activity 4.1. Training of national partners in remote sensing tools and field based approaches for cryosphere monitoring.
Activity 4.2. Sharing of information and research findings at national, regional and international levels.
Output 5. Cryosphere knowledge hub established for dissemination of data and
information on cryosphere studies in Bhutan.
Activity 5.1 Consolidation of documents, data and publication on cryosphere research in Bhutan.
Activity 5.2 Establishment of systematic database management system in NCHM.
Activity 5.3 Establishment of a web based portal – hub interface.
2. Budget and donor: Total cost of the project is 1.085 million, funded by Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Norway through ICIMOD
3. Timeline: 10 th  Oct,2014 till 2018 (BUT extended till April 2019)