Experts visit WUMP districts to better understand water availability and use

ICIMOD and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal initiated a collaborative action research to develop local Water Use Master Plans (WUMP) for the Koshi Basin Programme in three districts which represent the three ecological zones of the Koshi basin — Sindhupalchowk, Sindhuli and Saptar. WUMP’s objective is to develop a comprehensive plan where local people develop plans for water use such as irrigation, drinking water and sanitation, agriculture and disaster risk reduction. Ten  experts  from  ICIMOD,  HELVETAS,  Department of  Irrigation (DOI) and  Ground  Water Resource  Development  Board  (GWRDB)  participated in the four-day field visit 21- 24 July 2015 in Sindhuli and Saptari districts. The objective of the trip was to better understand  the  issues  of  water  availability  from different  sources — springs,  ponds,  small  scale  irrigation — and to identity a potential study site for upstream-downstream linkages of land and water management on a local scale. 

The team provided input to the technical and socio-economic assessment of water resources carried out by both district’s local partners. Information collected will be applied to the development of WUMP and as an input to the water evaluation and planning (WEAP) model. In Sindhuli, the team visited a potential site for the study of upstream-downstream linkages and discussed resource availability, water utilisation and institutional linkages among upstream and downstream VDCs with local partners and villagers. A detailed survey will serve as a follow up. In Saptari, the team observed the Mahuli irrigation system and discussed the current issues of sedimentation and bank erosion as well as challenges facing the local community with regard to effective water utilisation. Mr. Basudev Timalsina from DOI and Mr. Krishna Acharya from GWRDB, made suggested improvements to the existing Mahuli irrigation and ground water issues in Saptari district.