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EO Clinic: Snow and Ice Mapping in Kazakhstan



EO Clinic support requested by: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Kazakhstan Resident Mission (KARM)
Requesting activity: Republic of Kazakhstan: Mobilizing finance to help achieving Sustainable Development Goals
Requesting activity type: Knowledge and Support Technical Assistance (KSTA)

EO Clinic relevant Thematic Groups: TG4 (Disaster Risk Management), TG10 (Water Resources Management)

Work Order number: EOC0006
Work Order status: Completed
Work Order start: 2020 May 07
Work Order end: 2020 Sep 15


ADB is supporting the government of Kazakhstan in creating a platform among development partners and mobilising finance to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Kazakhstan’s commitment to realising the 2030 SDG Agenda is in line with the country’s aspirations to improve people’s quality of life as envisioned in the 2025 Strategic Development Plan as well as in the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy.
The recently kicked-off KSTA is aligned with key operational priorities of Strategy 2030 of ADB by mainstreaming the use of high-level technologies in Developing Member Countries (DMC). The KSTA is also fully aligned with the country partnership strategy for Kazakhstan, 2017–2021, which highlights ADB’s role in assisting with managing the social impact of technology solutions in areas such as municipal services, e-commerce, agri-business, green economy, and finance.
National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) are based on several sustainable goals, including SDG 11 – “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable”. The city of Nur-Sultan and surrounding areas are affected by river floods. In September 2019 ADB in partnership with ESA agreed to provide technical support to KGS (Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary) to improve flood simulation and calculation of water volume in reservoirs for the Nura and the Ishim river basins. KGS is the state-owned space entity that has been appointed by the Committee on Water Resources of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources and by the Committee for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to provide solutions to mitigate flood-related hazards and risks.

Problems to be Addressed and Geospatial Information Gaps

The technical approach that is being discussed by the stakeholders for solutions to mitigate the flood-related issues is quite comprehensive. It implies the use of EO, in-situ observations and hydraulic modelling, in order to predict flood scenarios, and how water levels will evolve during certain rainfall regimes. In the end there is a need to develop a model prototype with the following parameters: water velocity and flow directions, and predicted areas of flooding. However, the scope of the foreseen support may be divided in different phases and modules. The scope of the present RFP is limited to demonstrate some baseline products and trend analysis through the use of optical and SAR data to map river and lake ice and their evolution in time. River ice controls the winter flow regime of rivers and compromises the operation of hydrometric stations, governs the water intake and discharge activities of municipalities and businesses. Particularly during spring break-up, ice can create jams and floods that endanger infrastructure such as bridges. The users would like to understand better the advantages and limitations of the EO-based datasets that could contribute to the water balance and flood risk modelling, in particular when confronted with information layers they might have from other sources.

Information Services to be Delivered

  • Service 1: Snow Cover Dynamics
  • Service 2: River and Lake Ice Dynamics

Project Documents


Sustainable Development
Prime contractor