Australia's Ambassador to Nepal Felicity Volk today handed over the Australian-funded Water Resources Development Strategy for the Kamala River Basin to Secretary at the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat Maniram Gelal.

At the event to mark the finalisation of the strategy, Ambassador Volk said that evidence-based, consultative water resource management was vital to ensure that all Nepalis' water needs are met in a sustainable manner. "Management of water resources is becoming ever more challenging as the impacts of climate change are witnessed across Nepal," she said.

Through the Australian Government's Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio, Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation partnered with WECS to build capacity in water basin planning and water resource management, with a focus on the Kamala River Basin.

According to a press release issued by the embassy, the strategy is the final document produced under this Kamala Basin Initiative partnership. It follows a report on the 'State of the Kamala River Basin and Recommendations on Policy and Legal Instruments' for water resource management. The strategy will guide the development of a Kamala River Basin Plan.

All three tiers of government as well as civil society and local stakeholders were consulted in the development of the strategy.

This serves as a useful model for water resource planning and management in other river basins.

"The Strategy provides directions and options for the water resource goals identified by various stakeholders," said Ambassador Volk. "It provides the foundation for continuing work in the Kamala River Basin, which in turn can be usefully applied to other basins across Nepal as the country navigates the concurrent challenges of too little water on the one hand and too much on the other."

A version of this article appears in the print on August 14 2021, of The Himalayan Times.