Enhancing upstream-downstream cooperation and equitable water access in Nepal

Enhancing upstream-downstream cooperation and equitable water access in Nepal

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Project detail:
Status: Completed
Countries: Asia, Nepal

Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) and ICLEI South Asia, in partnership with CDKN, launched this project Nepal in 2019.


The project directly responds to expressed demand from water user groups, municipal governments, and national government. During SIAS's research and engagements in three cities over the last five years, the municipal authorities and water management committees raised issues about growing contestation with upstream communities, and have requested deign interventions to ensure sustainable water flow.

Project Objective

Drawing on lessons from over five years of research and local engagement on the interrelation of water, urbanisation and climate change in three rapidly urbanising cities experiencing water stress, this project seeks to contribute towards climate adaptive and inclusive water governance through catalysing evidence informed decision-making processes at local level and informing provincial and national policy processes. In doing so, it seeks to enhance institutional mechanisms for upstream-downstream cooperation and equitable water access.

The project's objectives are to:

  • Synthesise previous research on water management, including contestation between upstream communities and downstream users, and issues of inclusion and equity in water governance
  • Facilitate evidence-informed dialogue between upstream rural communities and downstream urban water governing bodies in three cities through the innovative “Water Forum” tool
  • Inform provincial and federal policy processes towards institutionalising upstream-downstream cooperation and inclusive water governance

Project activities and outputs

Project activities and outputs include:

  1. Synthesise evidence from earlier research projects
  2. Conduct Water Forums on two identified issues in three cities
  3. Refine the process of the Water Forum and develop a toolkit
  4. Organise a joint-field visit and stakeholder sharing-learning workshop
  5. Organise a conference on local water management
  6. Conduct policy labs at provincial and national levels
  7. Write and disseminate policy briefs on reducing gender inequality and water security in times of disaster risk

Partners: Institute for Studies and Development Worldwide (IFSD), Australia