Joel Fiddes bio photo

Joel Fiddes

Research and monitoring in mountain regions

Email Researchgate Google scholar LinkedIn Github Google photos Skype


The Zarafshan river basin programme is a technical assistance project designed to build capacity in integrated water resources management in Tajikistan. Landell Mills Ltd. is lead working with Mott MacDonald as partner on the 42-month project, which is funded by the European Union and has a total value of over €4 million. The ZRB is a relatively dry basin (250-400 mm / year measured at stations up to 3000 m). With most precipitation occuring as snowfall during winter/ spring. Large valley glacier systems exist at the headwaters of the Zarafshan river at around 2800 m. Smaller cicrque glaciers occur throughout the basin.

Map of Zarafshan basin and location in Tajikistan indicated in inset.Plot includes, GLIMS glacier outlines, hydrlogical and meteo stations of the Tajik national Hydromet service. Meteo station symbology increase in size according to precip totals (range 218-480 mm/year) and colour indicates mean annual air temperature variation (range -1.3 - +12.6 C), lighter shades being colder. .

Within this project I am initiating a pilot in monitoring of snow based water resources. Specific objectives of this input are:

  1. Assess possibilities for field based measurements and develop a monitoring strategy (manual and/or automatic) to be implemented winter season 2018/19.
  2. Set up model/remote sensing based snow monitoring system.
  3. Develop a pilot snowmelt runoff forecasting system for 2019.
  4. Verify the forecasting in 2019 with streamflow data.
  5. Train the river basin working group with introduction to snow monitoring, and use of simple and process based models and remote sensing for forecasting.
View from Anzob pass region, south side of tunnel.
Manual pluviometer at Hydropost 84, upstream of Anzob, direction Anzob pass. Not quite WMO standard!