SG2 - Shaping green and inclusive mountain economies
AAD - Restoring and regenerating landscapes
Living Mountain Lab, Godavari and ICIMOD Headquarters, Lalitpur
09 April 2023 to
12 April 2023
Surendra Raj Joshi & Karishma Khadka
Concept note Key messages
Given the growing issue of spring depletion and consequent water scarcity across the Hindu Kush Himalayan region (HKH), this four-day training will focus on spring revival and springshed management with practical field-based sessions at Godavari and Kavre. Participants will learn about revived springs in Nepal (with lessons from Namobuddha Municipality in Kavre) and ICIMOD’s approach to spring revival through hands-on exercises. The training will help frame a common understanding of springshed management planning and implementation.
The training will help build capacity among participating representatives from municipalities/gram panchayats (village councils) to effectively incorporate springshed management into their planning and strategic processes, with budget planning and allocation. The training is expected to create an enabling environment for scaling springshed management across countries in the HKH.
This training will target local governments and institutions, particularly from India, and Nepal. Local governments have a key role in promoting inclusive and participatory springshed management approaches for enhancing the water security and climate resilience of local communities.
Springs are seen as the social, economic, cultural, and ecological pillars of sustainable mountain development in the HKH. There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence of springs drying up in across the mountains and mid-hills of the HKH. There may be several factors contributing to the drying of springs. Climate variability and change, land degradation and increasing impervious areas, haphazard infrastructure development, loss of good local knowledge and practices, growing instances of natural hazards, and a lack of governance systems are leading to the degradation of the spring resources upon which millions of rural and urban communities and biodiversity depend. Spring revival and springshed management are therefore vital to ensure present and future water security in the HKH.
Springs are a part of the groundwater system, and the science of hydrogeology that governs the occurrence and movement of water in the underground aquifers in the mountains is poorly understood. This often results in a misconception regarding springs (that dissociate springs from groundwater systems) and this, in turn, creates misaligned policies that exacerbate the problem. Springs are also part of complex socio-technical and informal governance systems with pronounced gender, equity, and cultural dimensions and these systems are not well understood as well, again leading to inappropriate policies and interventions. Efforts to protect these vital resources can help ensure water security and improve the management of land and water resources.
We have worked with some municipalities of Nepal and other organisations and institutions in the HKH region to apply inclusive springshed management measures in some critical springsheds (such as Kavre and Godavari) of Nepal. Some municipalities have also demonstrated some exemplary examples in spring revival, but they are insufficient for scaling in Nepal due to a lack of proper planning and technical capacity at the municipal level.
The springs in Godavari are used for drinking, domestic use, and agriculture. Springs in Godavari such as Godavari Kunda and Naudhara, also have religious and cultural significance. The poster briefly explains how we implemented the ‘Six step protocol for reviving springs’ to revive critical springs in the Godavari area.