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Climate Impacts on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus due to Changing High Mountain Hydrology in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan

MSRI recently completed two related studies funded by the US Agency for International Development on how changes in water supplies and associated runoff affect the production of hydroelectricity and agriculture (particularly related to irrigation supplies) in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. These studies focused largely on water sources in the cryosphere of the Pamir and Tien Shan. The MSRI team reviewed existing scientific information that has been compiled and published by CHARIS partners and other international research teams working in Central Asian nations on water sources, their dynamics, and their contributions to runoff and river discharge. The CHARIS Project (2000-2016) was a consortium of research centers and governmental agencies in Asian High Mountains with an aim to systematically determine the contribution of glacier ice and seasonal snow on runoff in Himalaya, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Pamir, and Tien Shan Mountain ranges, by using the so-called CHARIS melt model.

MSRI coordinated with and interviewed regional stakeholders, such as government agencies and research institutes to ascertain the current methods employed to assess regional water supplies, such as glacier and snow melt and rainfall distribution. The use and capabilities of remote sensing to assess dynamics in regional water sources was thoroughly reviewed and knowledge gained was transferred to USAID and key regional stakeholders to inform the next phase of this project.