Tsho Rolpa Lake to have early warning system by next yearThe government, along with various developmental partners, is working to install an early warning system in Tsho Rolpa Lake to mitigate the risks of potential Glacial Lake Outburst Floods
The government, along with various developmental partners, is working to install an early warning system in Tsho Rolpa Lake to mitigate the risks of potential Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), which could threaten the communities downstream.
Tsho Rolpa, the country’s largest moraine-dammed glacial lake situated in the Tamakoshi River basin, is one of the potentially threatened glacial lakes, which on bursting could release millions of cubic meters of water and affect thousands of people living in villages downstream in remote districts.
The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the United Nations Development Programme, in coordination with Practical Action, are planning to set up Community-Based Early Warning System (CBEWS). The system is expected to come fully into operation by early 2016.
On Wednesday, a national-level workshop was organised to discuss operational user guideline for Tsho Rolpa CBEWS.
However, this is not the first time the government and the developmental partners have installed early warning system in Tsho Rolpa to reduce the risks of GLOFs.
During the 1950s, experts witnessed that Tsho Rolpa located at an elevation of 4,580m above sea level was expanding rapidly in size, and by late 1990s the threat of GLOF hazard had become serious.
This led the government to undertake initiatives to lowering the lake water level and install CBEWS to reduce the risks in 1998, which was done with the financial help from the World Bank.
But, due to poor management compounded with insurgency period, the CBEWS stopped functioning since 2002.
Soon after the Gorkha earthquake in April, the DHM with support from the development partners under the pilot phase installed an automated early warning system that uses two sensors that will transmit advance warning in the event of a moraine breach and outburst flood to the downstream communities.