Status and Issues of Water Resources in the context of Nepal-Part 3 – Telegraph Nepal

Professor Dr. Narendra Man Shakya

Water Resources Engineering

Institute of Engineering

Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM):

“Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems”.

Despite many studies on the optimum allocation of water from the major basins of Nepal to their users, no study has been done yet using the concept of integrated economic water resources planning and management approaches to get the maximum economic benefit as well as to minimize the deficit of supply within the basin.

The consequences of already planned water resources development schemes would have been astonishing when this equitable approach is adopted.

Water crisis can be avoided with reasonable productivity through IWRM principle approaches.

In the past, water resources management was focused more on supply side traditionally rather than to look after the demand of multiple users.

Water is scarce and the utilization of these resources efficiently is very much essential.

Moreover, such equitable water allocation to all users will be more critical in the Federal Nepal institutional system, water sharing with neighboring countries (eg. Pancheswore Multipurpose Project) and other high dam reservoir projects (eg. Budhigandaki hydropower development Project) where accounting of downstream benefits is very sensitive on the feasibility of the project as a whole.

So, the integrated economic water resources planning and management will ultimately help to reduce the conflict among users.

For example, the Government of Nepal had prepared the basin-wise master plan of the water resources of Nepal.

The main objective of the Koshi Master Plan study was to prepare a comprehensive water resources development plan for the Koshi river taking into consideration the potential for hydroelectric generation, irrigation, flood control, navigation and others including inter-basin development schemes for the purpose of economic growth and social improvement.

To achieve this goal, the study was carried out to identify the resources of the Koshi River, ascertain the needs and possibilities of development and form balanced plans for the orderely development of the River.

The target year was set for 2005/2006.

Shwoyambu showed more decline of up to 0.12m to 0.23 m.

The proposed extraction rate map prepared through this analysis also indicates that the northern part of the ground water basin has more volume of water available per unit decline in head per year and the value of the extraction rate is decreasing as we move from northern part of groundwater basin to the southern part.

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM):

“Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems”.

Despite many studies on the optimum allocation of water from the major basins of Nepal to their users, no study has been done yet using the concept of integrated economic water resources planning and management approaches to get the maximum economic benefit as well as to minimize the deficit of supply within the basin.

The consequences of already planned water resources development schemes would have been astonishing when this equitable approach is adopted.

Water crisis can be avoided with reasonable productivity through IWRM principle approaches.

In the past, water resources management was focused more on supply side traditionally rather than to look after the demand of multiple users.

Water is scarce and the utilization of these resources efficiently is very much essential.

Moreover, such equitable water allocation to all users will be more critical in the Federal Nepal institutional system, water sharing with neighboring countries (eg. Pancheswore Multipurpose Project) and other high dam reservoir projects (eg. Budhigandaki hydropower development Project) where accounting of downstream benefits is very sensitive on the feasibility of the project as a whole.

So, the integrated economic water resources planning and management will ultimately help to reduce the conflict among users.

For example, the Government of Nepal had prepared the basin-wise master plan of the water resources of Nepal.

The main objective of the Koshi Master Plan study was to prepare a comprehensive water resources development plan for the Koshi river taking into consideration the potential for hydroelectric generation, irrigation, flood control, navigation and others including inter-basin development schemes for the purpose of economic growth and social improvement.

To achieve this goal, the study was carried out to identify the resources of Koshi River, ascertain the needs and the possibilities of the development and form balanced plans for the orderly development of the River.

The target year was set as 2005/2006.

The IWRM approach for optimizing overall net benefit for all the projects may result in lesser satisfaction of demand at most of the time of the year.

Maximizing the benefits for the optimal allocation of the water in Koshi basin giving equal priority to future irrigation diversion (irrigating 1,75,000 ha of land by Kamala System and 15.22 lakh ha by Koshi System) and hydropower with proposed four reservoirs (res_1: Su-3; res_2 : Su 2; res_3: Su-1; res_4: Sapta-Koshi High Dam) results in very low level of demand satisfaction (0 % to 46%) for proposed Kamala diversion project. 

This optimized regulation of the projects might be contrary to original intent of individual project regulation.

But, if an overall and maximized benefit is desired, this approach can be considered as the most suitable one thereby necessitating the review of Master Plans, other study reports and policy in this regards.

References: 

Asian Development Bank (ADB). Asian Water Development Outlook 2016; Strengthening Water Security in Asia and the Pacific; ADB: Manila, Philippines, 2016.
CWC, India: Feasibility Report on Koshi High Dam Project for Government of India, 1981.
JICA: Master Plan Study on ‘The Koshi River Water Resources Development’, Vol I, II, III, IV and Vt, Japan International Cooperation Agency, For Government of Nepal, Ministry of Water Resources, Nepal, Kathmandu, 1985.
KUKL, (2011). Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) at a glance. Third Anniversary Report, 2066-67, Kathmandu.
Metcalf-and-Eddy (2000), Urban water supply reforms in the Kathmandu Valley. Completion report. Palmer, (2003). Endangered rivers and the conservation movement. Rowman and Littlefield.
Sadoff, C.W.; Hall, J.W.; Grey, D.; Aerts, J.C.J.H.; Ait-Kadi, M.; Brown, C.; Cox, A.; Dadson, S.; Garrick, D.; Kelman, J.; et al. Securing Water, Sustaining Growth: Report of the GWP/OECD Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth; University of Oxford: Oxford, UK, 2015.
Schultz, B. and Wrachien, D.D., 2002. Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Research and Development in the 21st Century. Irrigation and Drainage, 51:311-327.
Shah, S. G. and Singh, G. N., 2001. Irrigation Development in Nepal Investment, Efficiency and Institution. Research Report Series No. 47, Winrock International, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Sharma, E., N.Chettri, K. Tse-ring, A. B. Shrestha, F. Jing, P. Mool, M. Eriksson, 2009: Climate change impacts in the eastern Himalayas. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu 27 pp.
Sharma, K.P., C. J. Vorosmarty and B. Moore III, 2000: Sensitivity of the Himalayan Hydrology to Land-use and Climatic Changes. In: Climatic Change 47, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, pp.117-139.
Shrestha, A.B.; C.P.Wake, J.E Dibb and P.A. Mayewski, 1999: Maximum Temperature Trends in the Himalaya and Its Vicinity: An Analysis Based on Temperature Records from Nepal for the Period 1971-94. In: Journal of Climate Vol. 12, American Meteorological Society, pp. 2775-2786.
Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, 2003. Water Resource Strategy Nepal. Water and Energy Commission Secretariat Kathmandu, Nepal.
WECS (2005) National Water Plan (2002-2027). Kathmandu: Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, Government of Nepal.
WECS (2008), Multi-dimensional Study of Bagmati River Basin, 2008.
WECS (2007), Proceedings of the Workshop on Koshi River Basin Management, Prepared by WECS and WWF Nepal for Government of Nepal,2007.

Concluded. 

#Text courtesy: Association of Former Career Ambassadors of Nepal ( AFCAN) journal on “Strategies for the Development of nepal’s Water Resources” edited by Dr. Khaga Naath Adhikari.
Published with the permission of the AFCAN President Ambassador Dr. Ram Bhakta Thakur: Ed. Upadhyaya.
Thanks the distinguished author and AFCAN.

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