Although Nepal is rich in water resources, a large proportion of population still faces water scarcity. Despite access to clean water being a fundamental human right, equitable access to water continues to remain a major development challenge. This problem is even more pronounced in densely populated cities and munipalities where there is higher demand for water. Given the scale of rapid urbanisation that Nepal is currently experiencing, the need for water is expected to soar. To make the matter worse, the available water is of poor quality.  A recent report from the Department of Health Service shows that in 2017, there were 270 preventable deaths attributed to waterborne diseases.

Newly elected local governments have recongnised the challenge of growing water scarcity. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation. The major challallanges facing cities and municipalities are a lack of technical capacity and weak governance system. These loopholes expose the need to strengthen local government’s capacity to ensure water security in the context of growing deman and under changing climate.

A webinar was held on 6 September 2020 to exchange the experience between Australian and Nepalese urban water management experts. In this webinar, Australian experts shared their knowledge on  technologies and planning strategies widely used in Australian cities. This served as a valuable platform for Nepal’s local government leaders and water management officials to interact with Australian experts on the possibilities of effectively managing water in Nepali cities and municipalities.

This Webinar was organised in collaboration with the Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), Kathmandu, Nepal, and the Institute for Study and Development Worldwide (IFSD) Sydney, Australia. This webinar was supported by CDKN’s Knowledge Brokering and Partnership.