Indus 21 – WCAP: Upgrading of Tools, Water Resource Database, Management System and Models

Detailed description of project:

The Mangla reservoir is one of the two large reservoirs in Pakistan allowing flow regulation in the Pakistani part of the Indus River Basin. The reservoir’s catchment area of about 34,000 km² comprises the upper part of Jhelum River; the eastern part of it being under Indian administration. Although peaks reach up to 8,000 m, there are no glaciers in the catchment. About 65% of the annual runoff is from snowmelt while the remaining 35% are from rainfall on snow-free surfaces.

As irrigated agriculture is of vital importance for Pakistan’s economy, even small improvements to the planning and management of water releases from the two major reservoirs Tarbela and Mangla and in the forecasting of flows in unregulated rivers could bring significant economic benefits to the country. Although seasonal and 10-daily flow forecasts are provided for the major river basins by several institutions, e.g. the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the Water Resources Management Directorate and the Snow and Ice Hydrology Project of WAPDA, the most recent remote sensing snow products promise a higher forecast precision in particular for snowmelt-dominated flows.

Type of services provided:

Development of a flow forecast model for the upper catchment of Jhelum River

  • Review of existing flow forecasting procedures for the Upper Indus Basin;
  • Select an appropriate snow melt model suitable to process remote sensing data for flow forecasting in Mangla catchment;
  • Identify suitable data sources for daily snow cover, precipitation and temperature that become available within two days after their recording;
  • Develop pre-processing methods to automate data flow from online resource to model input;
  • Calibrate the model with daily observations from the last 10 years;
  • Develop flow forecasting procedures for Mangla Basin based on recent snow cover variation, historic snow depletion curves and available forecasts on temperature and precipitation;
  • Train client staff on processing of large data sets (using R language), GIS and forecasting models applied to the Mangla catchment flow forecasting.
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
World Bank
02/2011 – 01/2012
Contract value:
606,000 €