A watershed resources management and infrastructure project seeking to rehabilitate and improve access and yields of water sources in Nepal’s mountain regions.  


Despite being the world’s fourth most climate-vulnerable country, Nepal has adopted ambitious plans to address climate change challenges. Nepal’s SPCR, developed in conjunction with the World Bank, ADB, and IFC, aims to build long-term climate resilience through an integrated water resource and ecosystem-based approach, to provide lessons on how best to build resilience in vulnerable mountain regions.

In 2013, the Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Systems (BCRWME) was approved with a CIF PPCR allocation of $24.4 million, and seeks to mitigate climate change risks for mountain communities through water resources management. As climate variability and change in Nepal exacerbate existing threats to food and water security through the progressive loss of glacier and snowpack storage in basin headwaters, the BCRWME project is vital for Nepal’s mountain communities. Water scarcity is a significant and widespread problem among these communities, occurring every year in the dry season. The project has an anticipated completion by January 2019, and will cost an estimated $28.1 million total.

Objectives and Outputs:

BCRWME seeks to integrate watershed management with interventions in upland areas to increase surface water storage and groundwater recharge, and to deliver water for local community use. The selected watersheds for project investment are in the West Seti Sub-Basin of the Karnali River Basin. More than 85% of households in these watersheds live in scattered dwellings close to natural springs and patches of more gently sloping land.

Direct beneficiaries of the project are the local communities that lie in the 6 districts Achham, Baitaidi, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura, and Doti, of the Far Western Development Region. An estimated 35,000 households are expected to benefit from improved water availability during the dry season. The project will increase water collection by 50%, while reducing dry season water collection for women and children by 75%.

The Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management (DSCWM) will be the executive implementing agency, with the Nordic Development Fund administering training and implementation support. As the first large-scale intervention by ADB in watershed management in Nepal, the project will demonstrate watershed management planning and build the capacity of all levels of the government for integrated watershed development. The project is in early stages of implementation, with an inception report underway, consultant contracts being negotiated, and the formation of a project steering committee and technical working group. Project completion is anticipated for January 2019.

This project summary is drawn from draft project proposals [such as the PAD, PID, SAR, and country investment plan] and may not contain the most up-to-date information.

ADB Project Portal

Project Details
Cover Note | Project Document | MDB Project Implementation Services (MPIS) | Proposed Decision
Approved on August 6, 2013 (Approved Decision)
Approved amount(s): 
USD 23.54 million (grant funding)  
USD 975,650 (MPIS)

Comments and Responses:
Germany (August 5, 2013) 
United Kingdom (August 5, 2013) 

Project Concept Note for the Use of Additional PPCR Resources: Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions 
​Project Details
Cover Note | Project Document | Proposed Decision
Approved on May 23, 2013 
Approved amount(s):
USD 900,000 (Project Preparation Grant)
USD 487,825 (MPIS First tranche)

Comments and Responses:
United Kingdom (May 22, 2013)
Australia (May 23, 2013)
United States (May 23, 2013)
Germany and Spain (May 25, 2013)

Project Preparation Grant
Project Preparation Grant Proposal (Page 62)
Approved on June 29, 2011 (Approved Decision