Potentiality of Hydro-Electricity and Situation of Water Resources in Nepal - Economics Notes

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Potentiality of Hydro-Electricity and Situation of Water Resources in Nepal

The potentiality of Hydro-Electricity in Nepal
Water is the most important natural resource in Nepal. Nepal is the second richest in water resources after Brazil. There are more than 6,000 rivers including big and small. The total water power potentiality in Nepal has been estimated to be 83,000 Megawatts. Out of these, about 42,000 MW is economically feasible.

Hydro-potentiality of different rivers in Nepal

Rivers Theoretical hydro-potentiality of different rivers(in Megawatt)
Koshi 22.35
Gandaki 20.65
Karnali 36018
Others 4.11
Total 83.29

Source: Water and Energy Corporation, 2004 A.D.

Current Situation of Water Resources in Nepal
Water resources are the most important resource in Nepal. It can be used for generating hydroelectricity, irrigation facilities, and supplying drinking water. The current situation of water resource is Nepal is given below.

1. Hydroelectricity:
Hydroelectricity is the most important output of the water resource. Nepal has theoretical hydropower potentiality of 83,000 MW but, only 42,000 MW is economically feasible. The development of hydroelectricity was initiated in Nepal is 1911 A.D. at Pharping with a capacity of 500 KW. By the end of the tenth plan, the total capacity of hydroelectricity reached 560.80 megawatt, which was only 0.67 % of total potentiality. The target of the three-year interim plan (2063/64 – 2066/67) was to reach 704 megawatts but only 691 megawatts has been achieved, which is 0.83 % of total potentiality. The goal of running a three-year interim plan (2067/68 – 2069/70) is to reach 972 Megawatt. Now all 75 districts of the country have access to electricity. More than 65 % of the population has access to electricity.

2. Irrigation.
Nepal is an agricultural country and irrigation plays an important role in the development of agriculture by raising land productivity. Due to the lack of adequate irrigation facilities, there is a slow development of agriculture sectors. But now, the government of Nepal has launched various irrigation projects in different parts of the country. By the end of the tenth plan, the irrigation facilities have reached 66% of cultivated land. The target of the 11th 3-year interim plan was to reach 71.4 % of the potentially irrigable.

3. Drinking water.
Pure drinking water is the pre-requisite of healthy manpower and the basic needs of the people. Although there are enough water resources, people face the shortage of safe drinking water in both urban and rural areas various projects were launched to supply pure drinking water but it could not provide expected facilities. By the end of the 11th three-year interim plan, 80% of the population has got pure drinking water facilities. The goal of the current 12th three-year interim plan is to reach 85 % pure drinking facilities to the people.

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