Environmental Flows Workshop

The Digo Jal Bikas project partnered with the International Financial Corporation and USAID to host a workshop on the concept and the potential for application of environmental flows in Nepal. Environmental flows is broadly defined as describing the quantity, timing, and quality of water flows required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems (Brisbane, 2007). Many presenters who shared their work in environmental flows from their respective organizations emphasized the urgency for policy makers to use environmental flows when considering water development projects in Nepal. Break-out sessions spurred group discussions on challenges and opportunities for integrating environmental flows into development schemes that policy makers produce.

The Environmental Flows workshop took place on August 22nd at the Yak & Yeti Hotel.


Attendees of the workshop pose for a photo.

Karolyn Upham (USAID Environment Specialist and Deputy Team Leader) shares her gratitude for the work many organizations are pursuing to center environmental flows in water development.

Dr. Luna Bharati (IWMI Principal Researcher) conveys in her presentation the urgent need to use environmental flows in water development projects.

Nilu Basnyat (DAI/PANI Deputy Chief of Party) participates in a break-out session presentation.


Trade-Off Arena Workshop: Stakeholders identify priorities for hydrological modeling for Western Nepal

Digo Jal Bikas gathered close to 50 stakeholders from various sectors across Nepal to discuss priorities in the future visioning of development in Western Nepal. One component of the Digo Jal Bikas project involves creating hydrological models that demonstrate water distribution trade-offs, the benefits and drawbacks in distributing water to different sectors in the region. The focus of the workshop was to hear from stakeholders on what trade-offs should be included in hydrological modeling. Some ideas for development that emerged from the workshop include the need for a multi-purpose approach, the greater importance of soft management over infrastructure, the necessity of transportation and communication, the region’s high tourism potential, and support for small-scale agribusiness and storage.

IWMI Nepal was happy to see an engaged and diverse showing of water experts, policy makers, business people, and NGOs contributing to meaningful discussion. The participation of many Nepalis from Western Nepal itself also added to the dynamism of the conversation; while some may be accustomed to hearing a narrative of Western Nepal that paints it as only impoverished and under-developed, discussion at the workshop focused on just the opposite. Stakeholders and IWMI staff alike came away from the workshop feeling optimistic that a strategic vision for water infrastructure and economic development can truly improve the livelihood of Nepalis living in Western Nepal.

The Trade-Off Arena Workshop took place on August 1st at the Yak & Yeti Hotel.