South Asia is often represented as a continent of the Himalayas, which supplies meltwater to 10 major river systems of Asia. South Asia is also a region with a rich history of community action around water and natural resources management (Bhatt et al., 2012). In recent years, this region is facing risks of water insecurity due to climate change, weak governance, infrastructural gaps, population growth, and rapid urbanization (Bajracharya et al., 2019). With 1.89 billion people, the region is also one of the most densely populated and climate-vulnerable parts of the world. It has the world’s fastest-growing regional economy and hosts the largest proportion of people living in absolute poverty (Hirji et al., 2017).
We are partnering with Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) to conduct action research and policy capacity building in Nepal to tackle climate risks to water security in rapidly urbanising areas of the country. We are drawing on the lessons from over five years of research and local engagement on the interrelation of water, urbanization, and climate change in various cities in South Asia. Our ongoing work aims to contribute towards climate adaptive and inclusive water governance through catalyzing evidence-informed decision making processes at the local level and informing provincial and national policy processes. The project is funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) Asia.