Note: English CIVILICA
is in its Trial Period so Full Texts can not be
provided! Persian users can download it
Local and Scientific Knowledge for Water Management Under Climatic Variability and Change: A Case Study from Banganga and West Rapti Rivers in Western Nepal
[ D. R Gautam ] - National Disaster Risk Reduction Centre Nepal, Kathmandu-34, Sangam Chock, Nepal
[ M. R Gautam ] - Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 755 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Many studies have shown that water management solutions based only on technology-focused initiatives have failed in developing countries where community- level management decisions were historically based on different forms of traditional knowledge over generations. Understanding local knowledge, culture and beliefs and their role in local water management is important first step towards climate change impact mitigation and adaptation planning. We documented various types of local knowledge and their respective roles in various aspects of water management including impacts such as flood and droughts. Many of the traditional knowledge on the study were found culture specific and spiritual knowledge based. People have been using such knowledge for forecasting climate, managing climatic variability and flood and drought risks. Furthermore, we successfully documented adaptation strategies of the communities against water related constraints and hazards induced by climate variability and change. Specifically, we analyzed how people were affected by water stress and hazards and how they coped those stresses through local knowledge of their watershed and climatic processes. We found that long before scientific intervention occurred, local people have developed coping mechanisms against flood and drought through their traditional knowledge. However, human interventions in the watershed, climate change, and technical intervention without taking into account the existing local knowledge and political economy of the area have made technical interventions less effective and even counterproductive. We noted that local knowledge in the study area were also influenced by outside influence, migration, and building of new knowledge through empirical observations and adaption. We found that traditional practices in water management based on empirical knowledge is very useful and can compliment scientific knowledge and practices.
Traditional knowledge; water management; flood and drought risks; climate change adaptation; vulnerability