Karnali River Corridor Management program has brought together an interdisciplinary team of experts to assess and describe the ecological and social values of Karnali River: the only remaining free-flowing main stream river system in Nepal. This project highlights key ecological drivers; collect information about aquatic resources, stream system functions, and riverine health; and describe the socio-environmental values that characterize the Karnali River basin from the headwaters to the Ganges River confluence.
The goal of this project is to provide the scientific foundation to develop a culturally informed, locally supported integrated water resource management framework on the main stem of the Karnali River. The expedition and other research work and other related activities may create a framework that can be used by multiple kinds of future users—a working plan that is highly flexible, scalable, and that can help a variety of local and national advocates to protect aquatic resources in the future. Further, we hope that the data collected during our project can help support the introduction of provincial legislation focused on maintaining environmental health and promoting the concept of ‘free flowing rivers’ in the Karnali basin – a goal that our program team will work toward in coordination with local and provincial level representatives, the Paani Project and their institutional sub-grant partners.
This project provided a scientific foundation for a culturally informed, locally supported integrated water resource management framework. An interdisciplinary team of experts—a geo-physical scientist; an aquatic ecologist; an anthropologist with expertise in hydropower sector, a recreation and ecotourism specialist, an environmental journalist, and other social scientists with expertise in the Karnali zone—assessed and described the ecological and social values of the Karnali River (the only remaining free-flowing mainstem river system) in Nepal. This project highlighted the key ecological drivers; collected information about aquatic resources, stream system functions, and riverine health; and described the socio-environmental values that characterize the Karnali River basin, from the headwaters to the Ganges River confluence.