Using in-situ measured data from Qiyi Glacier, in combination with meteorological and run-off data from stations, a distributed degree-day model was developed for 631 investigated glaciers in the Beida River catchment to explore glacier mass change and its effect on streamflow. The results showed that the average mass balance was −272 ± 67 mm w.e. a−1, with an ice loss of 3.99 Gt during 1957–2013. Assuming a continuous linear trend, equilibrium line altitude rose by 242 m. Compared with morpho-topographic variables, climatic control is a more important factor affecting glacier change. Mass-balance sensitivity to air temperature was −239 mm w.e.°C−1 a−1, while to precipitation it was +1.1 mm w.e. mm−1 a−1. That is, a 210 mm increase in precipitation would be needed to compensate for the net mass loss induced by an air temperature increase of 1°C. Average annual glacier meltwater runoff was 1.51 × 108 m3 from 1957 to 2013, accounting for 15.2% of surface runoff. The time series of meltwater runoff changed abruptly in 2000, and its contribution to surface runoff increased from 13.9 to 20.4%.