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Enhancing Civil Society and Community-Based Organizations’ Engagement on Trans-Boundary Water Issues in the West Rapti River Basin

India, Nepal
Started In: 
Completed In: 
Supported By: 
The Asia Foundation

Asymmetric water treaties between India and Nepal, competition to safeguard national interest on issues such as hydropower, irrigation, flood control and other ecosystem services have engendered a climate of distrust in negotiating long-term water cooperation between India and Nepal. Despite growing interest and relevance of the issue in the public sphere, political sensitivities around these issues have restricted adequate representation of public concerns in such deliberations.

With this backdrop, the project aimed to enhance civic cooperation between cross-border actors on the West Rapti River basin to support common understanding and actions to better inform policy decisions on issues related to management of trans-boundary rivers.

A deep dive analysis of the West Rapti River Basin (WRRB) has been conducted. Relevant analytical documentation has been done on the engagement of local communities in the development of infrastructure projects in the WRRB. West Rapti Working Group has been established to enhance its engagement in trans-boundary water decision-making process. For wider dissemination, a national dialogue on issues of trans-boundary water governance with special reference to marginalized river basins was organized. To discuss trans-boundary water governance issues, “Pani Satsang” in Kathmandu, Nepal was also organized.

Key impacts are:

  • Development of a knowledge base of indigenous civil society organizations (CSOs) by facilitating their collaboration in the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices on trans-boundary water issues.
  • Enhanced capacity of local communities living along the WRRB in Nepal and India to engage in trans-boundary water decision-making process.