Exploding The Watery Myth

The World Water Day is always filled with bucketfuls of speech in which speakers crow about Nepal’s abundance in water resources. The facts speak otherwise. More than 50 percent of its population do not have access to safe drinking water. Only 25 per

March 29, 2011, 5:45 p.m.

Ganesh Shah is a former minister for environment, science and technology. He has been involved in the water sector for more than two decades. Shah replied two questions posed by New Spotlight.


 Is there any scientific basis behind the saying that Nepal is rich in water resources?


We have been saying that Nepal is rich in water resources. But, unless we harness water for drinking, irrigation, industrial and other purposes, we cannot justify what we have been saying.


On what basis have you been saying so?


People have been saying this on the basis of observation and rough estimates. When many people started to say this, it became a popular saying that Nepal is rich in water resources.

 


Dr. Adarsha Pokharel is a former director general of Hydrology and Meteorology Department. He  is also co-chair of World Water Day organizing committee.

 

Is there any scientific basis behind the saying that Nepal is rich in water resources?


There is no doubt that Nepal is rich in water resources. However, we failed to utilize it for the benefit of the the people.


On what basis have you also been saying so?


Simply, I have a logic and scientific evidence. Surface water available in the country is 225 BCM per year. Unfortunately, only 15 BCM per year is in use. This is my basis to say that Nepal is rich in water resources.

 


Dr. Ananda Bahadur Thapa served for more than three decades in water related sector.  Renowned expert Dr. Thapa retired a few years back.


Is there any scientific basis behind the saying that Nepal is rich in water resources?

 

There are many countries around the world like Canada and the United States and otherd with sufficient water but they have never made such claims. Even our two neighbors India and China have a lot of rivers and water but they too have never made tall claims. They might quietly laugh when we make such a claim.


Don’t you think there is any basis for such a claim?


People have been portraying that Nepal is second after Brazil in water resources. Globally, Brazil is not the first country having the largest deposit of water. Of course, Nepal may be rich in generating hydropower. I don’t know how the people have been saying this.

 


 

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