Impacts of climate changes on water resources of Nepal: A case study of Tsho Rolpa glacial lake (2003)

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Energy is one of the most essential inputs for the economic development of any country, but the per capita energy consumption of Nepal is very low as compared with developed countries. More than 85% of the energy needs are met by traditional energy sources dominated by fuelwood. As there are still no proven reserves of fossil fuels in Nepal, all the required petroleum and coals are imported from other counties, for which Nepal spends roughly one-third of its total foreign earnings. Hydro-electricity is only available commercial energy source from Nepal?s own natural resources but its share in national energy supply is very low. Therefore, the present situation of energy pattern of Nepal is not sustainable and extremely necessary to be improved. The development of Nepal greatly depends on the development of water resources particularly in the area of hydropower generation. Tsho Rolpa is the biggest glacier lake in Nepal Himalayas, which appeared only about a half century ago and has a potential threat of outburst. In 1997, the lake was in the most dangerous situation and more than 3000 families, including cultivated land, forest, and physical infrastructures were under the threat of the glacier lake outburst flood. In order to reduce the risk of outburst flood, the lake water level was lowered by draining out the water from the lake through siphon pipes as an immediate measure. This research was aimed to assess the hydrological and meteorological trends at Tsho Rolpa and in its vicinity; to determine the people?s perception towards the potential threat of outburst flood from Tsho Rolpa and ongoing risk reduction measures; and their information on the changing climatic pattern including its impact on the water resources. The case study was carried out in the villages of northern part of Dolakha district of Nepal to investigate the trend of climate change and its impacts on water resources along with potential threat of outburst flood from Tsho Rolpa Glacier Lake. It is recommended that there should be more studies on the impacts of changed climatic parameters on water resources. The analyses of more stations covering larger areas should be carried out in order to minimize the error on estimation. More scientific studies should be carried out to determine the relation of climatic parameters at high mountains (where almost no long term data available) with mid-hills and low lands.
Year: 2003
Language: English