Water management to address drought problem

June 20, 2017

Nepal Placeholder

Water management to address drought problem

About the Implementing organization

Name: Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED)

Country: Nepal

Year of establishment: 1991

Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status


The majority of the mid-hill areas of Nepal do not have irrigation facilities and farming is dependent upon natural rain, which is limited to 4-5 monsoon months only, water management becomes the most critical aspect of farming. Hence, to identify the representative solution to address the drought problem and reduce the risk of crop failure due to drought, various water management approaches like water source protection, rain water harvesting, waste water collection, soil moisture maintenance using mulch and drip irrigation were the key interventions tested and demonstrated in the farmers fields. A total of 124 small irrigation ponds were demonstrated at individual household level to collect household waste water, 57 community ponds and 6 earthen ponds were constructed by the community to collect and use the water mostly on their kitchen garden/ vegetable plots. Similarly, straw mulching was applied in the crops like cucumber, bitter gourd, squash during the severe drought period (March - June). Similarly, drip irrigation were used in tomatoes as the water efficient technologies. This resulted successful production of the crops even without availability of irrigation facility during the peak drought season.

Nature Element

Forests / Mountains / Drylands

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education / Advocacy for land & water rights

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Renewable energy / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

Conservation of water sources has contributed to improve the natural environment. Similarly collection of waste water in small ponds has contributed to keep the village environment clean which otherwise remained spreading in the village trails and roads in absence of proper drainage. Collection of waste water, rainwater harvesting, mulching of the crops and application of drip system helped the farmers maintain the greenery in the villages and reduce the climate risks.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The collection of waste water at the household level, which otherwise was wasted, was highly useful to irrigate their small kitchen garden at individual level and harvesting of rain water to be used for larger scale vegetable production has become very successful. Since this practice has affordable extra investment ( construction of small ponds) and farmers can grow and sell the vegetables during dry season when there are no such products in the market, the income margin is very high. Thus this practice is very attractive, simple and affordable for the small holder farmers.


Teh majority of farming in the midhill range of Nepal is dependent on rain. Because of the simple and affordable technology, rainwater harvesting and waste water collection for irrigation is widely adopted by the farmers in the RMV sites. it is not only upscaled in the neighboring villages of the Kavre district but also in other projects like HIMALICA project funded by EU in Udayapur district and Building Community Enterprises project funded by BMZ in Salyan district etc. Besides, the Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission of Nepal was highly impressed of the results of the intervention while visiting the RMV sites in Feb 2016, So, he included the concept in Nepal Government's regular program of FY 2073/74 to be piloted in 14 districts of Nepal and it is being implemented by Department of Environment.


Since the waste water collection and rain water harveting technique is tested and demonstrated in the mid-hill representative sites of KAvre, and the techniques are also simple and affordable, this can be replicated in any parts of the country under similar agro-ecological zones.The collected water, has been efficiently used to address the water scarcity problem at the household and community level, which could be adopted by all, including the poor and marginalized household/communities.

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