Gunjan Silwal, Susmita Dhakal and Gyan Kumar Chhipi, Nepal

Hello, my name is Gunjan Silwal and I am from Nepal. I am doing my final year of studies in Environmental Sciences with Mountain Environment as subject of specialization. I live in Godawari with my parents which is just 15 kms away south to Kathmandu. I am planning to go abroad for my further studies in Glaciology/ Mountain ecology  in near future and after acquiring degree I want to conduct researches and work in many of the mountainous issues related with snow, glacier, mountain resources and communities, and sustainable mountain development  and establish myself as a good mountain environmentalist.

Primary Mentor Bio

Hello, my name is Susmita Dhakal.
I am from middle mountain village of western Nepal. My childhood was spent in there playing with livestock, helping parents to collect fodder, firewood and in agricultural activities. I completed primary education by a community school in village. Later, we migrated to Rupendehi district (inner Terai, western Nepal). Thus I accomplished high school education from a public school from Rupendehi district. I completed B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Tribhuvan University where currently I am working as an Assistant Professor.  My specialization during my M.Sc. was Mountain Environment in Environmental Sciences. From the very beginning I was interested to work on climate change issues in mountains basically impacts on mountain ecosystems and livelihood of communities and also indigenous adaptation practices going on in there.

Presently, I am working with Central Department of Environmental Science. This department is one of the youngest departments under Institute of Science and Technology (Tribhuvan University). It has been contributing nation in two ways: producing skilled human resources in environmental sciences and supplying inputs for environmental policies to the government.  

Currently, we are in a sort of crisis of human resources because of high degree of mind drain. It is a national problem that we are facing. I have very strong interest to serve my locality. I am worried about the deterioration of environment of Kathmandu valley. I want to put my step for the betterment of it by research and advocacy. Equally, I want to work on forest fire, its impacts and mitigation because there is a big gap of research based information how and at what extent forest fire has been contributing to GHGs emission, and biodiversity and wildlife loss. In this context I am in the process of finalizing topic for my PhD.  It would be either forest fire risk assessment of Nepal or human health risk assessment of residents in Kathmandu valley.

I am happy to be selected for my student in this fellowship program to participate in the MyCOE / SERVIR Initiative in the Himalayas.

Very eagerly awaiting to meet whole team.



This research will mainly focus on the contribution of climate change in snow and glacier melt and its impact on the runoff and runoff pattern. This research will be accompanied with SRM model, remote sensing and GIS, and hydro-meteorological data.

Statement of the Problem

In Nepal the effect of global warming on the glaciers and ice has serious implications for fresh water reserves and consequently for low flows. Any significant change in glacier mass and ground water storage will impact on water resource in a local and regional scale. Increase in temperature and precipitation in Himalayas triggers melting and retreating of ice and snow which enhances flooding events downstream from direct runoff. The change in climatic parameters is projected to have an adverse impact on water storage capacity of the Nepalese Himalayas. Melt modeling is a crucial element in any attempt to predict runoff from snow-covered or glacierised areas, as well as to assess changes in the cryosphere associated with climate change. In mountainous regions, snow and ice significantly affect catchment hydrology by temporarily storing and releasing water on various time scales. This causes distinct annual and diurnal discharge variations significantly differing from those of conventional landscapes The major concern today is rapid reduction of glaciers in much of the Himalayan region and shifting up of snow line. Many researches related to climate change and its impacts on mountains have been done most of which have focused on the extreme events like flood and drought, mainly on the glacier melting, retreating, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), its trend and impacts. Only recently researchers have been interested to study snowmelt contribution in stream flow in HKH region of Nepal, but so far, few researches have been carried out and those can be counted on fingers. There have been few studies of snowmelt runoff and its importance in augmenting stream flow anywhere in Nepal. There is a dearth of research in this particular field.  In this regard this study will be carried out to investigate the contribution of snow and glacier melt in Koshi basin and climate change impacts on water resources of the basin using SRM model and climate change model.

 Broad objectives:

Broad objective of the research will be to assess and compute the impact of climate change on snow and glacier melt runoff.

Specific Objectives:

1.       To determine the change in climatic parameters by analyzing hydro- meteorological data.

2.       To estimate snow and glacier melt and their contribution in river runoff.

3.       To simulate the runoff for changing climate by assuming increase in temperature and further assess its impact on runoff.

4.       To conduct a comparative study of estimated snow and glacier melt runoff between more glacierised and less glacierised basins.

5.       To conduct sensitivity analyses in order to check the effects of variables on the model.


 Expected outcomes:

  • Development of Snow Melt Runoff Model and Climate change Model for Dudh Koshi and Likhu River basins.
  • Finding out climate change impact on runoff volume in different seasons for Dudh Koshi and Likhu River basins.
  • A comparative study on the impacts of climate change for more glacierised and less glacierised area.
  • Usefulness of the SRM of these River basin for developing mitigation measures for the impacts of Climate change, for calculating potentiality of hydropower generation, water resource management techniques, flood control, damming, construction of embankments, dikes and levees and other adaptive planning in the inundated region.