Sustainable management of water resources stressed

Kathmandu, March 8: Experts spoke of the need of addressing the issues of management and development of water resources for sustainable conservation of river basins. 

In an interaction programme organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) with media here today, they highlighted the need of community-based management approach to conserve and properly utilize water resources in areas vulnerable to climate change impact so as to ensure sustainable conservation of river areas.

IWMI country representative Dr Manohar Khadka said the institute was working at the western Nepal in partnership with the local communities in endevours targeted at conserving the river basin. “Additionally, it has been working to prepare a five-year strategy for more research works.”

The IWMI's sustainable water development programmes based in Karnali, Mohana and Mahakali rivers in the western Nepal have been in force since the past three years. The programmes are supported by the USAID.

Institute researcher Dr Luna Bharati said the river basin zone in the western region was rich in biodiversity, but it is vulnerable to climate change risk. Implementation of required programmes with a long-term vision was necessary to keep the area less affected by impact of climate change.

Another researcher Dr Bishnu Prasad Pandey said the river basin area in the western Nepal suggested high potentiality of hydropower and irrigation development and stakeholders concerned should be made aware on time of untoward consequences of climate change while pursuing such potentiality.

Kathmandu University’s environment researcher Ramdevi Tachamo stressed that special attention was required to ensure the protection of biodiversity while constructing hydropower plants in river basin area.

Under the project, local farmers have several sorts of support to make arrangements for irrigation during winter and for this purpose, ponds have been reconstructed, gender trainings have been conducted and locals have been given solar pumps.

Change in rainfall pattern is one of the outcomes of climate change and it will obviously affect the rain-fed agriculture. The Institute has suggested the natural and artificial harvesting of water and its storage to cope with possible adversities to be caused by climate change developing as a global phenomenon.

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