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2 Jun 2016 | News

Building Local Capacities for Managing Springsheds and Reviving Springs

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Springs are the primary source of water for many communities living in mid-hills of Nepal.  Changes in social and economic activity as well as in rainfall patterns have led to drying up of springs resulting in additional pressure on agriculture. Hence, spring revival is important to the upliftment of mountain communities. Drying springs can be revived through proper planning which takes into account unique mountain hydrogeology.

As part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR) funded Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Advanced Centre on Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM), Pune, with inputs from Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, an eight-step approach was developed for managing springsheds and reviving springs with specific reference to the mid-hills in Nepal. The steps involve understanding local spring hydrogeology, developing water management protocols and engaging local communities for reviving springs.

In April 2016, ICIMOD, in collaboration with HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and ACWADAM, Pune, India, organised two ‘Barefoot hydrogeologist’ trainings in Dailekh and Sindhupalchok districts of Nepal. The trainers focused on providing a comprehensive understanding of the local hydrogeology at each site and its importance for recharging ground water. Twenty-four participants, including ten female participants, took part in the two trainings.  The participants were representatives of ICIMOD partner organisations, locals, and school masters who could learn and apply the eight-step process for reviving springs.

The trainings provided participants with the opportunity to learn hydrogeological concepts both in the classroom as well as in the field. Participants could identify their local geology and understand the properties of rocks and how they influenced groundwater movement. They also gained a solid understanding of the types of springs in their localities. Based on these learning, participants discussed and prioritised three to four springs in their springshed which needed revival.

The project will now embark on activities focused on recharging springs so that revived springs can be demonstrated at the end of the monsoon.

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