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Working towards a Kamala Basin Plan

Posted by: Clare Brandon

December 21, 2017

CSIRO staff working through the Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio participated in a field trip through the Kamala Basin in early 2017.

Kamala field trip
Kamala Field Trip participants at the Janaki Temple-Janakpur

The Kamala Basin in the south-central region of Nepal is an important basin for irrigated agriculture but has limited water resources during the dry season.

A report outlining the outcomes from the field trip and recommendations for future work in the Kamala Basin was released in December 2017.

The trip was a practical way to identify the steps and actions required for the development and implementation of a participatory pilot for the Kamala Basin Plan.

The Plan has the potential to inform water management and sustainable access to water and so influence livelihoods and sustainable agricultural production. Lessons learnt through this planning process may also be applied across Nepal.

Participants included 14 Nepalese stakeholders, 11 from government and three from non-government organisations. There were five representatives from Australian organisations.

Some of the many recommendations to come for the trip included:

  • improving water storage and management infrastructure
  • increasing the understanding and quantifying existing water resources: location, availability, water consumption, crop productivity, water distribution
  • using modelling to assist in demonstrating priorities and locations for water infrastructure
  • improving data collection
  • exploration of the use of groundwater for irrigation
  • establishment of a stakeholder engagement plan
  • maintaining existing weirs, and river and irrigation canals to quantify and improve flows
  • funders focussing on existing research where benefits are greatest to farmers and communities through sustainable production systems.

Find out more about our research in Nepal