Upstream-downstream Linkages for Catchment Level Water Use Master Plans (WUMP) in the Mid-hills of Nepal
In mountainous regions, the resource management practices in the upstream areas, especially land and water management, have a direct impact on the downstream communities; at the same time, water availability can directly affect livelihood-related activities in both areas. Upstream-downstream linkages occur at different scales (from micro-watersheds to river basins), across physiographic regions (mountains to plains), across different administrative divisions (wards to countries), and between countries. Studies have found that good watershed management practices in upstream areas can bring opportunities to downstream communities in the form of sustained spring flow, whereas poor watershed management practices have the potential to increase the likelihood of landslide events upstream and contribute to low water-flow in the dry season downstream. Thus, downstream communities have both opportunities and potential threats linked to the management of water in upstream areas.The scoping study was able to estimate how much water is generated and used in the upstream and downstream areas for domestic and agricultural purposes and provided ideas on how the productive use of water can be improved for communities in both areas. There are a number of steps to be followed to operationalize upstream downstream collaboration, but the report concludes that the two parameters of water quantity and monetary value of productive use provide an entry point for the upstream-downstream dialogue and negotiations on catchment level water conservation and use
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