Water: A Scarce Resource in Rural Watersheds of Nepal’s Middle Mountains

Merz, J.; Nakarmi, G.; Shrestha, S.K.; Dahal, B.M.; Dangol, P.M.; Dhakal, M.P.; Dongol, B.S.; Sharma, S.; Shah, P.B.; Weingartner, R. (2003). Water: A Scarce Resource in Rural Watersheds of Nepal’s Middle Mountains. Mountain Research and Development, 23(1), pp. 41-49. International Mountain Society 10.1659/0276-4741(2003)023[0041:WASRIR]2.0.CO;2

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Water remains one of the major issues in the Middle Mountains of the Hindu Kush–Himalayas. This most populated region of Nepal depends mainly on rainwater supply, which is highly variable: around 85% of annual rainfall is expected during the monsoon, which lasts about 4 months from June to September. During this season, the major concern in many parts of the region is flooding and surface erosion due to too much water. During the remaining 8 months, water shortage for domestic and agricultural use is a persistent problem. This article discusses water availability considerations in 2 watersheds in the Middle Mountains of Nepal. A survey of the water need and supply situation was carried out in both watersheds. The survey revealed the most needy regions within the watersheds and local residents’ major concerns. Their main apprehension is water availability for both agricultural and domestic purposes, and increasingly, water quality concerns are mentioned in villages. A comparison between the 2 watersheds is particularly interesting because of their location in relation to Kathmandu, a major market opportunity for vegetable farmers. This study concludes that with the increasing pressure on available water resources, new forms of water resources management at watershed scale have to be introduced. They must be based on the social background of the area and on the technical possibilities in terms of both locally available knowledge and scientific information.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Weingartner, Rolf


900 History > 910 Geography & travel




International Mountain Society




Deborah Nathalie Jutzi

Date Deposited:

21 Oct 2019 15:56

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:55

Publisher DOI:






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