Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions, Nepal by Luna Bharati

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Re-thinking investments in sustainable landscapes at the Global Landscapes Forum, Warsaw, November 2013

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Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions, Nepal by Luna Bharati

  1. 1. Luna Bharati and Pabitra Gurung International Water Management Institute Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur Nepal IWMI-Nepal@CGIAR.ORG Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org Photo: Photo Photo : David Brazier/IWMI :Tom van Cakenberghe/IWMI Photo: David Brazier/IWMI David Brazier/IWMI Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain EcoRegions, Nepal
  2. 2. The physical context • Nepal is one of the most water abundant countries in the world with total mean annual runoff of 224 billion cubic meters (BCM) • There is large temporal and spatial variability in water availability • All this water then rushes through the landscape, very often creating flooding problems in the wet season and water scarcity in the dry season. • Climate change impacts are still very uncertain Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  3. 3. Core Issues in upland-landscape management • Rain-fed systems are vulnerable to climate variability • Due to various social, economic and environmental reasons, out migration from rural to urban centers is very high • Few of the effects of abandonment of farms in this region are: • land degradation/ erosion • women, the elderly and remittance income has become the backbone of livelihoods • loss of agricultural labor is making it difficult to sustain traditional farming practices • Breakdown of traditional community organizations Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  4. 4. Old Paradigm • Existing watershed management programs in Nepal focus primarily on land degradation and forest management. • Despite significant success, they have not been able to fully address the livelihood and environment issues in these challenging areas. • Most water management interventions, on the other hand, do not benefit upland communities • Surface and Groundwater systems are managed separately Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  5. 5. New Approach • Integrate management of all natural resources, including land, trees, water and people • Slowing down and storing water in the upland systems will allow communities to have access to water all year –by storage we mean the whole storage continuum. • Reducing peak discharge will reduce floods downstream • Management of both surface and groundwater is also important especially in the management of spring systems. Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  6. 6. Nepal’s Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) SPCR Component 1: Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  7. 7. Combined/Multiple Vulnerability Map of Watershed in Middle and High Mountain Regions Vulnerability = f (Sensitivity, Adaptive Capacity, Exposure/Risk) Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  8. 8. Model the impact of watershed management interventions on the hydrology in two vulnerable watersheds • Assess and demonstrate the effectiveness of various water management interventions against future climate uncertainties • Assess and demonstrate downstream impacts of watershed interventions Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  9. 9. Result: Distribution of Precipitation Seasonal Precipitation (1981-2010) % Change in Seasonal Precipitation (2031-2060) (14mm–304mm) (27mm–647mm) (-13% to +40%) (684mm–2438mm) (12mm–193mm) (-36% to 0%) Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org (+6% to +44.6%) (-19% to +25%)
  10. 10. Adopted Interventions in the Study a. Afforestation of degraded lands b. On-farm Conservation c. Infiltration Ponds d. Water Storages-small reservoirs Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  11. 11. Combined Impact of All the Interventions on Seasonal Hydrological Parameters in Watershed 124 1.000% 0.000% Percentage Change -1.000% -2.000% -3.000% -4.000% -5.000% WYLD -6.000% GW_Q SURQ PERC SW -7.000% -8.000% Annual Winter Pre-monsoon Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org Monsoon Post-monsoon
  12. 12. How can we ensure that investments in landscape are sustainable? • A more integrated approach to upland landscape management • Moving away from sectorial resource management • Expanding the management unit to include the whole landscape Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  13. 13. Thank you Read the book: Tackling Change For more information: Contact Luna Bharati at l.bharati(at)cgiar.org Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org

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