Water Resources

Sustainable Management and Utilization of Water Resources

Ms. Swarnima KC
Institute of Forestry (IOF), Pokhara


Water, a basis of survival of all living organisms is also considered as the basic pre-requisite of development. Being second richest country in water resources, Nepal is gifted by Himalayan ranges in the north with ever flowing snow melted rivers and fresh water springs with huge power of producing energy and fetch out drinking water to the people.
 Similarly, no any economic as well as socioeconomic developments are possible without availability of water. Specially, Nepal and her GDP (Gross Domestic Product) are dependent on agriculture and about 62% of Nepalese are involved in agriculture for their livelihood which requires abundant amount of water for irrigation.
But still most of Nepalese are out of reach easy access to drinking water, most farmers depend upon rain water for agriculture and water resources in urban are affected by pollution  too. And in such condition it is difficult to review a well developed and prosperous nation which is under scarce of drinking water and for irrigating land.
 But, equal distribution of water, sustainable utilization water and conservation of water source are the steps ahead which can solve the problem of water scarce. And these steps must be initiated by every family member, farmers and community based people and should be supported by government and different organizations. If the government is able to well distribute water and check water leakage. Water management can be done easily.
Hence, the essay aims at introducing water, its importance, present condition of drinking and agriculture demanded water. Essay also creates focus on how useful utilization of water, along with its conservation can be done, what should government act upon it to conservation and what can an individual do for protection from pollution and wastage.
Key words: water resources, water availability, sustainable water management, conservation of water.

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Water a miracle of nature, wonderful creation in this world that posses divine power to make all the living beings survive. It is a central basis of life for people, animals and plants. It maintains living system of terrestrial as well as aquatic organisms and conduct functions of ecosystem.  Among all other human is most depended upon the water resources, all the social, economic and developmental activities are governed by water resources. Availability of good water is an important fuel to develop human races.
In the chain of human development water resources is the most utilized resources, the growing population and increasing rate of use of this resources is being a problematic one. In addition climate change and its effects on water resources have moved into the spotlight of public interest. Climate change and its consequences indicate change in temperature, precipitation and evaporation in the water bodies. Heavy rainfall causing floods and landslides are result of such effects and these effects are largely affecting the agriculture, which is the most abundantly using sector of water resources.
NEPAL is a completely landlocked country situated in Southern Asia with the mean annual precipitation of 1500. As most other countries in Asia, the agricultural sector plays a very important role in both economic and social terms and, therefore, water plays a crucial role in everyday life. It is a developing country whose GDP depends upon agriculture and its products. About 62% people are farmers either in large or small scale. But the fact is that agriculture requires 100% water resources from sowing to harvest phase of crops and plants. But the condition is very pitiful there is no facility of irrigation which is a must for agriculture i.e. there is no effective use of water resources, though Nepal is the second richest country throughout the world with numerous rivers, riverines, lakes, ponds, fresh water springs and many more. And most of the farmers depend upon rain fed farming system which is now greatly affected by climate change phenomenon.   

 Most important factor of development is drinking water, which is out of reach for most of the people in our country. Utilization of water resources and flood protection are increasingly coming up against the limits of nature and technology and economic constraints. Water scarcity along with rising water use pressure will lead to more use conflicts in the future. According to a survey, 46% or rural people do not have access to water sources near their house and 7% in urban do not have pipeline connection, but among them most of pipelines get regular flow of water. Lack of institutional capacity, market and awareness among water users, unequal distribution of drinking water, over utilization, leakage and geographical condition are the major constraints for water management in Nepal. Therefore, it is a very difficult task to review a well developed and prosperous Nepal where people are under scarce of drinking and irrigating water.
Now the ultimate way to make water available to the people is sustainable management of water resources prevalent in Nepal. Sustainable water use and sustainable management are only the alternative to uplift the development of nation through agriculture.
Sustainable management is the process of assurance of pure water availability for daily purpose and irrigation water management for agricultural purpose, along with conservation of water sources for future generations. Sustainable utilization of water is the best idea which includes various plans and procedures.
To assure sustainable water use, it has become unavoidable to start out not only from the demands but also from the potential of the water resources. The task of integrated water resources management is to achieve optimal use of water resources while protecting the lasting ecological resources. Sustainable water management procedure must consider two interlinked systems:
1.      The natural systems (river, rivulets, fresh water springs, lakes etc) and
2.      Socio-economic system that uses water resources and have impacts on them.
Sustainable water management must be started from community based level so that each and every member of nation gets aware about careful utilization of water and its importance. The foremost step in conservation of water is proper utilization of it. Each family member should be aware to turn off the tap after use, and wastage of water should be checked.

Sanitation is an integral element therefore every house should have a toilet to reduce pollution of water resources. As water resource conservation is threatened by wide spread water control structures, intensive use of water power, the increase in water temperatures, and pollution through chemicals.  Disposal of industrial and medicinal wastes on water sources systems have become increasingly vulnerable and should be controlled completely.

 Government should focus on drinking water test (arsenic test).
Over flow and leakage of water should be controlled and water theft should be punished.
Also climate change has consequences for the regional water balance, water stores in lakes and glaciers, groundwater, and water flows in the ecosystems. The changes in the dynamics of climate and the global water balance are leading increasingly from local to regional level, adoptions and mitigation to climate change should be adapted locally or regionally
 Talking about agricultural basis water use, sustainable use of water in irrigation sector should be focused. Timing of agricultural operations should be managed according to rainfall pattern as for e.g. In Nepal in mid and far western regions rainfall occurs after the onset of monsoon, therefore sowing of paddy should be done during the specific time. Well managed collection of water should be done for irrigation. Rain water harvest technology should be adapted where there is no enough rain and agriculture is depended on rain water. E.g. Tomato cultivation in Palpa District through rain water harvests technique. Under ground water pump techniques in Terai belts of Nepal etc.

Sustainable water management process is easily accessible technique which helps Nepalese people and farmers to utilize maximum amount of water and conserve it as well. It must be able to focus on improved access to water and sanitation through community managed water resource for the poor and excluded. Also should strengthen the capacity of local service providers, local organizations and local bodies to demand driven service delivery system.
Hence water uses, flood protection, and prevention of water pollution leads to numerous, in part conflicting demands on the management of our water resources, which is also the principle of sustainable water management and utilization. We can say that these strategies for resolving complex conflicts of water management are the applicable one for better use of water for both daily purpose and agricultural purpose.

Hence, we can conclude that water is a property of nature that should be preserved as well as utilized for present as well as future betterment.  It becomes a duty of a citizen to conserve the available water and explore the water sources instead of facing difficulties during harvest.
Protecting water source from pollution, utilization of ground water for variety of purpose without polluting it and harvesting rain water for agriculture are the best methods for sustainable utilization of water and its conservation.
 National Planning Secretariat, Government of Nepal “Drinking water survey”
 Farming matters 2012


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