Kathmandu, Nepal – A unique 18-month process that brought together water experts, decision makers and stakeholders related to water resources since November 2014 has come to fruition with the publication of a WWF report “Nepal – Water Risk Scenarios and Opportunities for Resilient Development” that highlights the current and future risks to Nepal’s water resources.
The report which was launched in Kathmandu on 15 November 2016, examines three potential future scenarios (through the year 2035): Metropolitan Nepal, Bucolic Nepal, energized Nepal. Metropolitan Nepal is where Nepal rides the wave of steadily increasing foreign investment and remittance inflow and experiences a boom in its services sector. In the Bucolic Nepal Scenario, Nepal pursues economic opportunities in agriculture and tourism, relying on rich natural resources and robust ecosystems. In the Energized Nepal scenario, Nepal accelerates hydropower development as a means of attracting foreign investment, catalyzing revenue flows, and supporting employment in the construction sector.
The report also provides a detailed description of the process adopted and the scenario development as a useful tool to identify and interrogate plausible future developments that have implications for the country’s river basins.
“We believe that by framing water challenges and opportunities in the context of economic development, we can make a powerful case for the conservation of freshwater resources, not just for biodiversity or ecosystems, but for the future of Nepal as a whole,” said Stuart Orr, WWF Freshwater Practice Leader.
According to the authors, this report is not meant to propose answers to Nepal’s economic development decisions, but rather highlight the opportunities to make the plausible development trajectories more resilient in terms of water resources.
“This comprehensive report identifies possible future scenarios on water risks and opportunities, while anticipating unintended impacts not only on Nepal’s water resources and its spillover effects to the ecosystem, economy, and the livelihood of local communities but also on the country’s development trajectory,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “WWF Nepal will continue to work with the government and other partners to disseminate the findings and help facilitate the implementation of key recommendations.”