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A sustainable alternative of exploiting Nepal’s water resources to benefit the riparian countries
Adhikari, B.; Verhoeven, R.; Troch, P. (2008). A sustainable alternative of exploiting Nepal’s water resources to benefit the riparian countries, in: Irrigation Show 2008 - Proceedings of a meeting held 2-4 November 2008, Anaheim, California. pp. 16 pp.
In: (2008). Irrigation Show 2008 - Proceedings of a meeting held 2-4 November 2008, Anaheim, California. Irrigation Association: Falls Church. ISBN 9781605606842. 504 pp., more

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Document type: Conference

Author keywords
    Ecosystem; groundwater; inter-basin transfer; local reservoirs; sediments

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Abstract
    This article suggests that inter-basin transfer of water from larger rivers by tunneling is a sustainable and ecosystem friendly method of utilizing Nepal’s water resources which will benefit the riparian countries. It proposes to divert water from eastern rivers to the western by gravity, coupled with generating hydropower. It will transfer 20 km3 water annually to the Mahakali river from the Karnali which can be supplied to most groundwater overdraft affected areas of west and south India. About 15 km3 will be transferred from the Koshi to the Gandak and from the Gandak to the Karnali, 10% of which will be used for Nepal’s Terai and the rest will be supplied to India. The proposed plan will help groundwater recharge and spring flow generation at numerous drains in the basin by three ways :1) the link canals pass over the porous zone ,2) due to the provision of storage in local reservoirs and 3) expansion of irrigated rice. It provides an alternate to large dams in Nepal, which cannot be justified in a high earthquake risk region like Nepal and having no solution to tremendous sediments in the rivers apart from the negative impacts they bring to the people and biodiversity of the affected area. Hence the method suggested in this study is a sustainable way of exploiting rivers. It is capable of preserving the river ecosystem, simultaneously opening ways towards integrated watershed management, conjunctive use of ground and surface water, and revival of traditional methods of storage in local reservoirs.

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