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DFAT Brahmaputra Special Project
The DFAT Brahmaputra and Energy Special Project, supported by the Government of Australia under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is promoting research, and generating and documenting knowledge about the extent of water and equity issues in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The project is addressing water issues by reviving springs and improving access to water for domestic and agricultural use in the regional member countries of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
From 2018, the DFAT-Brahmaputra project started two activities:
Since 2014, ICIMOD has been working with the Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) on reviving springs and managing them. The first spring related research project in Nepal was carried out in Sindhupalchowk and Dailekh districts. This was followed by an implementation of spring revival activities in Dailekh.
With initial funding from Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)–Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the project has also prepared a spring revival protocol manual, as well as several springs revival and management manuals, and research articles.
In partnership with ACWADAM, the project has installed a 3-D model of the Godavari landscape at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari, Kathmandu, Nepal. The model was installed after the completion a spring inventory, multiple hydrogeological surveys, and regular monitoring of areas around 14 springs that supply water to settlements in and around Godavari. The model will be used as a capacity-building tool.
The project will carry out spring revival work in selected springs in the Godavari springshed. Suitable watershed activities will be carried out in the identified recharge areas to increase and sustain spring discharge. This activity strengthens the vision of using the site as a scientific laboratory to understand long-term changes in spring flow.
Several site visits were organized for relevant actors from Bhutan following keen interest expressed by the Watershed Management Division (WMD), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of the Royal Government of Bhutan, about working on spring revival with ICIMOD.
In 2017, a training and exposure visit to spring revival sites in Sikkim, India, was organized. A full-fledged technical training on spring revival was also organized at ICIMOD’s Godavari Knowledge Park.
In collaboration with WMD and ACWADAM, the project carried out spring revival and springshed management programmes at a site in Lholing, Paro.
To document knowledge and experiences related to the revival of springs in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), the project organized a writing workshop and participated in a follow-up writeshop organized by ACWADAM. Two events brought together water resource management officials and experts from Bhutan, India, and Nepal. The outcome will be published as special issue.