HYDRO Nepal Journal – Special Issue(April 2012)

Table of Contents
Editorial PDF Pages
Need to take Measures to Combat the Effects of Climate Change
View PDF 1
Articles Authors PDF Pages
Hydrology of South Asia from the Perspective of Global Environmental Changes

On average, South Asian river basins drain about 2,672 km3 of water to the oceans every year, which is almost 6% of the global runoff. These rivers also contribute 15% to 20% of the global ocean ward sediment fl ux. Retreating glaciers and decreasing flows during low flow seasons have already shown the signatures of global warming in the region. Temperature trends in the South Asian region range from -2.9oC per decade to +4.0oC per decade. Similarly, precipitation changes fall in the range of -8% to +18% during the period of available records. One of the major concerns regarding climatic change in the region is the tendency of decreasing low flows in several major river basins. Such alterations in river discharge may cause adverse impacts on available water supplies during critical periods. Besides, the region is subjected to high vulnerabilities of water resources because of population pressure, poverty and agriculture-based economy, strong temporal and spatial variation of precipitation, and significant spatial variations of geological parameters. The management of water resources needs to consider the integrated impacts of demographic, Land-use and climatic changes in an integrated manner.

Keywords: South Asia, water resources, climate change, environmental change, precipitation

Keshav P. Sharma View PDF 7-11
The Impact of Climate Change on Water Availability in Eastern Nepal: a Methodological Approach taking into Account the Various Origins of Water

The paper reflects the main methodological aspects of the PAPRIKA Project based on the following objectives: (i) to contribute to a more accurate assessment of glacier retreat, snow cover and climate change in Koshi Basin, Nepal; (ii) to have a better understanding of the contribution of glacier and snow melting to water availability; (iii) to correlate the results with local people’s perceptions of climate change and their socio-economic impact. For this, the paper:
• highlights the fact that the water used by the population comes from different origins (glacier melting, snow melting, frost, rain) the combination of which varies between the four main landscape units: high, middle and low mountains, and finally the Terai plain;
• describes the methodology adopted to observe and analyse current as well as future environmental changes in the atmosphere, cryosphere and hydrosphere;
• shows that, for each origin, different reasons may explain the changes in water availability, and thus the impact on agriculture and the different water usages.

Keywords: Water resources, water uses, climate changes, precipitations (snow and rain), Eastern Nepal

O. Aubriot, J. Smadja, Y. Arnaud, P.Chevallier, F. Delclaux,P. Laj, L. Neppel, O. Puschiasis, M. Savéan and J. L. Seidel View PDF 12-17
Hydrologic Characterization of the Koshi Basin and the Impact of Climate Change

Assessment of surface and groundwater resources and water availability for different sectors is a great challenge in Nepal mainly due to data limitations. In this study, the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to simulate the hydrology and to calculate sub-basin wise water balances in the Koshi Basin, Nepal. The impacts of Climate Change (CC) projections from four GCMs (CNRM-CM3, CSIRO-Mk3.0,ECHam5 and MIROC 3.2) on the hydrology of the basin were also calculated. This paper summarizes some of the key results. The full report of the study is in preparation.
The basin can be divided into the trans-mountain, central mountain, eastern mountain, eastern hill and central hill regions. Results show that current precipitation is highest in the central mountain and eastern mountain regions during both the dry and wet seasons. Water balance results showed that Actual ET as well as Runoff is also highest in the central and eastern mountain regions followed by the mid-hills. Results from climate change projections showed that average temperature will increase in the 2030’s by 0.7-0.9° Celsius. Results for 2030s projections also show that during the dry season, precipitation increases in the trans-mountain but decreases in the other regions for both A2 and B1 scenarios. During the wet season, the MarkSim projections show a decrease in precipitation in all the regions. Net water yields also increased for the trans-mountain zone during the dry season but show varying results during the monsoon. Assessment of projected future flow time series showed that there will be an increase in the number of extreme events; i.e., both low flows and large floods. There is however; a high degree of uncertainty in the projected climate data as the relative standard deviation was quite high.

Keywords: Koshi Basin, SWAT modeling, climate change, Nepal

Luna Bharati, Pabitra Gurung and Priyantha Jayakody View PDF 18-22
Testing Farmers’ Perception of Climate Variability: A Case Study from Kirtipur of Kathmandu Valley

In the 21st century, global climate change has become a public and political discourse. However, there is still a wide gap between global and local perspectives. The global perspective focuses on climate fluctuations that affect the larger region; and their analysis is based on long-term records over centuries and millennium. By comparison, local peoples’ perspectives vary locally, and local analyses are limited to a few days, years, decades and generations only. This paper examines how farmers in Kirtipur of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, understand climate variability in their surroundings. The researcher has used a cognized model to understand farmers’ perception on weather fluctuations and climate change. The researcher has documented several eyewitness accounts of farmers about weather fluctuations which they have been observing in a lifetime. The researcher has also used rainfall data from 1970-2009 to test the accuracy of perceptions. Unlike meteorological analyses, farmers recall and their understanding of climatic variability by weather-crop interaction, and events associating with climatic fluctuations and perceptions are shaped by both physical visibility and cultural frame or belief system.

Keywords: Farmer’s perception, weather, climate change, experience, Nepal

Jiban Mani Poudel View PDF 30-34
Perception and Realities of the Impact of Global Changes on Water Resources and Agricultural Practices - Preliminary Findings of AGloCAP Project in Indrawati Basin

This paper presents the trends of precipitation and temperature in the Indrawati basin, Nepal and tries to compare it with the experiences and perceptions of the local farming communities. It forms part of the preliminary findings from the AGloCAP (Adaptation to Global Change in Agricultural Practices) project under which field data is being collected from selected sample sites in the basin. The impact of global changes on agricultural practices and underlying socio-economic variables has been analysed by characterizing the basin into different agro-ecological zones.

The preliminary analysis of field data reveal that global changes is having diverse impact on agriculture ranging from change in agro-climatic condition, shifting of cropping areas, change in timing of agricultural activities, change in input levels, outbreak of disease and pests. The farmers’ perceptions of these changes, although sometime found to be a bit exaggerated and possessing their own interpretations, were observed to be very much in line with the identified trends of climatic factors. Similarly, it was also observed that in addition to the changing climatic condition, the underlying social, economical and institutional drivers have a remarkable influence on agricultural production in the region and that global change is first impacting those who are already marginal.

Keywords: Global changes, farmer’s perception, agricultural practices, impact, Indrawati basin, Nepal

Suman Sijapati and Dinesh Bhatt View PDF  35-41
Roots and Tubers: Alternate Energy Rich Feed Ingredients for Rural Pig Production

Pigs are neglected domestic animal species reared under poor care and management. Chwanche, Hurra and Bampudke are major native pigs of Nepal whereas Landrace, Yarkshire, Pakhribash Black, Tamworth and Durock are the introduced pigs. A survey was conducted in selected districts of Nepal in order to understand feeding system of indigenous pigs and also collect feed samples for chemical analysis. In all surveyed sites, the pig herd size was relatively small (2-4/farm). Kitchen waste from home or hotel, local seasonal vegetable or fruit i.e. non-consumable for human being, local sweet potato and their vines (in few areas), roots and tubers and their leaves such as- Pindalu (Clocasea sps), Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatus L), Turnip (Brassia rape) and Radish (Raphnes sativa L), rice bran and maize fl our were the major feed ingredients. Sweet potato had high energy content as compared to other roots and tubers and was comparable to rice bran and maize which are the major sources of energy in livestock feeds. Findings thus indicated that roots and tubers in rural areas could be an alternative as of energy rich feed ingredients which could be utilized if maize and rice bran are expensive and unavailable. Further research on level of feeding, conservation technique and varietals improvement is needed.

Keywords: Pig, roots, tubers, feed ingredients

N. P. Osti and P. Mandal View PDF  42-43
Revitalizing Irrigation Systems for Food Security: Vision and Approaches in Nepal Irrigation Systems

By 2050, Asia will have to face the challenge of feeding 1.5 billion extra populations. Similarly, the population of Nepal, 26 million in 2011, will also be double by 2050. Food demand will be increasing corresponding to the increase of the population. Nepal’s irrigation sector must first be revitalized to unlock its potential by introducing innovative practices and changing the ways it is governed and managed. Irrigated agriculture holds great potentiality to meet the development challenges and key to increased agriculture production to feed the growing population of Nepal. Besides, increasing the agriculture production, irrigation helps promote Green Revolution, contributes for poverty alleviation, and helps promote rural growth, and food security among people. Dilapidated irrigation systems affects on all these fronts of development issues. It is, therefore, necessary to revitalize the irrigation sector to feed growing population, to ensure livelihood and poverty alleviation and maximize the benefit of available natural resources like water to get more production from limited land availability.
Hence, the revitalizing irrigation systems to meet the food demands of the future are to be considered in an integrated manner consisting infrastructure rehabilitation, investment to raise yield productivity from irrigated land and promotion of appropriate institutions and innovative management modes. There are different agencies that influence the policy and implementation of irrigation sector of Nepal. The central agency is necessary for planning, investment, monitoring, and evaluation of the sector in the larger context. At present, one feels the absence of such central agency which overlooks the overall irrigation sector in compassing all sizes and types and technologies as the national resources.

Keywords: Revitalization, infrastructure improvement, agriculture productivity, governance modes, irrigated land loss, Nepal

Prachanda Pradhan View PDF  44-49
Increasing Crop Water Productivity through Local Crops and Technologies: A Case from Chepang Ethnic Community of Nepal

Water is the most important and scarce production resource, and with changing climate the importance of this resource increases significantly. Increasing efforts are being made in research and education to maximize the water use efficiently with the concept of ‘crop per drop’ to increase crop water productivity with a good blend of science and indigenous knowledge. Nepalese farmers are adapting the best to water scarcity through adoption of sustainable soil management and the use of crops with minimum water requirement, among other options. This paper attempts to deal with the neglected issues of using local crops and indigenous knowledge and technologies for increasing water productivity.

Keywords: Crops, water productivity, local crops, indigenous knowledge, indigenous technology, Chepang, Nepal

Bed P. Khatiwada, Rajan Ghimire,Rabindra Adhikari and Surendra Osti View PDF 50-53
Enhancing Water Productivity for Agriculture and Adapting to Climate Change in Food Insecure Areas - Practical Experiences from Far and Mid West Nepal

The Rural Village Water Resources Management Project Phase II (RVWRMP-II) works in some of the most remote, food insecure and water scarce areas of Nepal, where the impacts and effects of climate change are already visible. The farmers of the project region are dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Large parts of the project area (parts of Humla and Bajura Districts, for instance) depend on food aid. In Phase II, specific attention is being paid to climate change adaptation, efficient use of water for agriculture, and food security and nutrition.
RVWRMP facilitates communities to design and implement Water Use Master Plans (WUMP). One of the objectives of a WUMP is to optimize the use of water for agriculture. Micro-irrigation, rain water harvesting, multi-use schemes, using drainage water from tap stands for home gardens and organic fertilizers are some of the ways to improve the food security in the communities. Water source protection, watershed conservation, soil protection and crop selection are key technical areas of interest to enable adaptation to the anticipated changes in climate.

Keywords: Water Use Master Plan, Far and Mid Western Nepal, climate change adaptation, food security, Nepal

Bed P. Khatiwada, Rajan Ghimire,Rabindra Adhikari and Surendra Osti View PDF 54-58
Impact of Climate Change on Water Availability and Food Security of Nepal

The increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is widely believed to be causing climate change. It affects agriculture, forestry, human health, biodiversity, and snow cover and aquatic life. Changes in climatic factors like temperature, solar radiation and precipitation have potential to influence agro biodiversity and its production. An average of 0.04°C/ year and 0.82 mm/year rise in annual average maximum temperature and precipitation respectively from 1975 to 2006 has been recorded in Nepal. Frequent droughts, rise in temperature, shortening of the monsoon season with high intensity rainfall, severe floods, landslides and mixed effects on agricultural biodiversity have been experienced in Nepal due to climatic changes. A survey done in the Chitwan District reveals that lowering of the groundwater table decreases production and that farmers are attracted to grow less water consuming crops during water scarce season. The groundwater table in the study area has lowered nearly one meter from that of 15 years ago as experienced by the farmers. Traditional varieties of rice have been replaced in the last 10 years by modern varieties, and by agricultural crops which demand more water for cultivation. The application of groundwater for irrigation has increased the cost of production and caused severe negative impacts on marginal crop production and agro-biodiversity. It is timely that suitable adaptive measures are identified in order to make Nepalese agriculture more resistant to the adverse impacts of climate change, especially those caused by erratic weather patterns such as the ones experienced recently.

Keywords: Agriculture, climate change, water availability, food security, Nepal

Roshan Kumar Mehta and Shree Chandra Shah View PDF 59-63
Genetic Variability of Drought Adaptive Traits in Nepalese Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Germplasm

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the major cereal crops vital for global food supply. Most of the wheat crop in developing world including that of Nepal is either grown with limited irrigation or under rainfed conditions and thus face moisture stress at one or more growth stages limiting grain yield. An experiment was carried out at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Rampur, Nepal, to evaluate the genetic variability of selected drought adaptive traits in Nepalese wheat germplasm. The wheat genotypes evaluated comprised of Nepalese landraces and commercial cultivars, CIMMYT (International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement) derived advanced introduction lines and three checks with differential drought adaptability. The wheat genotypes were grown in pots (single plant) arranged in a replicated split plot design in greenhouse under two contrasting moisture regimes, optimum and moisture stressed. The genotypes were evaluated for water use, water use efficiency, relative leaf water content and biomass production. The ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) revealed significant variation between environments and among the wheat genotypes for most of the traits studied. A wide range of variability was observed for water use, water use efficiency, biomass yield and relative leaf water content in moisture stressed and non–stressed environments. Nepalese cultivar Gautam showed a number of favorable drought adaptive traits, whereas, Bhrikuti was average in this respect. Based on the scores of drought adaptive traits recently released Cultivar (CV). Vijay was characterized as drought sensitive. A number of landraces and advanced breeding lines showed high level of water use efficiency and Other positive traits for drought adaptation.

Keywords: Triticum aestivum L., landrace, water use effi ciency, RWC, STI, drought stress

D. Pokharel and M. Pandey View PDF 64-68
Integrated Aquaculture within Agriculture Irrigation for Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change

In the existing complexities of climate change, biodiversity, subsistence farming and several other issues associated with agriculture production, gaining self sufficiency in food security is challenging. Experiences from many countries suggest that aquaculture integration within agricultural irrigation, where aquaculture is a non-consumptive user of water, has contributed to increase overall productivity. Irrigation purposively provides water for agriculture in other than rain fed conditions. Strategically, however, irrigation should lead to efficient water management for increased agricultural production especially in present context of biodiversity loss, poverty, water, food and nutritional insecurity in the era of climate change. To overcome the problems of food security and many other relevant issues, the integration of aquaculture within agriculture irrigation is highly recommended.

Keywords: Aquaculture within irrigation, food security, biodiversity, climate change

Tek Bahadur Gurung View PDF 73-77
Rice: Water, Food Security and Climate Change in Nepal

Rice is the staple food for more than 50% of the world’s population, and more than 90% rice is produced and consumed in Asian countries (IRRI.org). In Nepal, both the national economy and food security depend on rice production. Theoretically, about 5,000 liters of water are required to produce one kilogram of paddy (IRRI.org). Now, water is becoming a scarce resource in the world because of global warming. Extreme weather and erratic rainfall are becoming common phenomena. One degree Celsius increase in nighttime temperature decreases rice production by 10% (IRRI.org). Food security, nutrition security, profitability and sustainability are the major issues. Stress-tolerant rice varieties (i.e., from the stress of flood, drought, heat, cold, pests, soil fertility degradation, etc.) and crop management technologies are generated by research. Irrigated rice is the major contributor of methane gas emissions. Thus, direct seeded rice helps to reduce methane emissions. Resource conservation technologies/conservation agriculture are some of the ways for reducing methane emissions and encouraging carbon sequestration. World rice scientists are engaged in C4 Rice Project and, if successful, 50% more rice production will be possible with less water and fertilizer.

Keywords: Rice, stresses, food security, climate change, Nepal

Bhola Man Singh Basnet View PDF 78-80
Nepal: Food Security, a Localized Institutional Irrigation Perspective on Public Irrigation System

Oriental philosophers have given top priority to food for orderly state affairs as well as personal wellbeing. In past, Nepal had a strong agricultural economy based on indigenous Farmer Managed Irrigation System (FMIS). State policy helped promote these systems. But contemporary Nepal opted for state control on irrigation water by building large scale public irrigation systems. In the last 43 years of planned development (1957-2002), the government has spent 70% of US$1.3 billion on these systems, covering 30% of the irrigated area in the country; the remaining 70% is with the FMIS. Despite the investment, these systems neither promoted themselves as an enterprise nor helped enhance agricultural productivity leading to social insecurity. This social insecurity is reflected in the country’s increasing import of food, mass workforce exodus for employment abroad, and added socio-economic vulnerability due to climate change.
Donor and government recommendations centered on (i) expansion of irrigated area, (ii) irrigation management transfer, and (iii) agriculture extension seem to have failed in Nepal. These failures asked for alternative institutional development solutions, whereas public irrigation systems are (i) localized to establish system’s operational autonomy with ownership and governance, (ii) treated as a rich resource-base with water, land and labor, and (iii) recognized as cooperative enterprise of local stakeholders by law with authorities to enter into joint actions with relevant partners for promoting commercialization and environmental quality of irrigated agriculture.

Keywords: Climate change, cooperative venture, Farmer Managed Irrigation System (FMIS), food security, public irrigation system, Nepal

Upendra Gautam View PDF 95-99
Revitalizing Irrigation Systems for Reducing Effects of Climate Change on Irrigated Agriculture in Nepal

Effects of Climate Change (CC) on hydrology and irrigated agriculture in Nepalese irrigation systems will be one of the major constraints in near future in irrigation development. The current status of Nepalese irrigation systems is highlighted briefly with its problems, constraints, challenges and opportunities, and current public policies and regulations in irrigation are summarized briefly with their relevancy and constraints. Reviewing the Agricultural Perspectives Plan (APP) and other policy and strategy frameworks, analyzing its performance and the relevance of its priorities and strategies to the current situation, and based on above facts mitigation and adaptation measures are suggested for short, medium and long-term strategies to revitalize irrigation systems of Nepal for irrigated agriculture enhancement. Suggestions and recommendations to incorporate are made in formulating its principle strategy into a forthcoming Irrigation Policy framework.

Keywords: Irrigated agriculture, revitalizing irrigation systems, climate change mitigation measures, Nepal

Mahesh Man Shrestha View PDF 106-111
Rethinking Development Models and Irrigation Projects in Nepal

Despite decades of investment and institutional refinement, externally funded irrigation programs still exhibit low success rates and more particularly in countries facing institutional and political challenges. This paper aims at bringing fresh insights on the reasons for such shortcomings with the particular case study of a donor-sponsored program recently implemented in the Mid and Far Western Regions of Nepal.
Findings indicate that the political situation and institutional system in Nepal have substantially affected the outcomes of the agricultural water management (AWM) interventions conducted by the program. Yet, beyond the influence of these contextual factors, two other (less acknowledged) mechanisms have contributed to create a gap between project objectives and outcomes: a) concepts commonly found in project documents and development discourses such as participation or empowerment are kept vague and ambiguous and lack an explicit recognition of power distribution; and b) the organizational system of many funding agencies tends to create incentives for project staff to show outcomes rather than to make impacts.
These findings suggest that refining current models of AWM interventions is not sufficient to improve their achievements. A more radical shift is needed. A few avenues for change include to: 1) pay a greater attention to the meaning and operationalisation of common development concepts (e.g., rights based approach, empowerment or participation); 2) consider the way interventions affect power distribution among stakeholders, including communities; and 3) modify the organizational system of the funding agency to increase its downward accountability to targeted beneficiaries. To sum-up, we need to rethink development as a means of empowering governments and citizens rather than as a way to provide assistance.

Keywords: Development, agricultural water management, Western Region, institutions, discourses, Nepal

Floriane Clement, Govinda Basnet and Luna Bharati View PDF 112-120


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