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Renewable energy technology intervention in water-energy-food nexus to support climate resilient livelihood


Water and energy are two essential resources on which the human survival and well-being thrives. Once believed to be abundant and relatively free, these resources are becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world resulting in poverty, food insecurity and drudgery. The scarcity can be mainly attributed to climate change and anthropogenic development activities. Many people in Nepal live in the mountainous and hilly regions. Due to difficult terrain, access to reliable source of energy and water has always been a challenge for rural hilly region of Nepal. In absence of reliable sources of energy and water, the farmer communities are gradually shifting their agro-based livelihood to migration based labour work to cities and foreign countries.  

On a preliminary site assessment conducted in presence of President and Vice-president of Gulmidurbar Rural Municipality, it was shared that the 80% of the springshed are in the course of drying during the dry season causing acute water scarcity to meeting drinking, farming and agricultural demands. Among the four water scarce areas, exuberated by climate change, Balithum Village was chosen as the project site in terms of the number of project beneficiary, micro-irrigable area to justify cost vs benefit and social inclusion prospective. The villagers had been drinking water from a spring, approximately 8km away, located at Resunga Municipality-14. Due to impact of climate change the water in the springshed is declining and since the source is in control area of another municipality, the availability of water of the beneficiaries of Balithum has theatrically reduced. In each alternate days, appox. 100 liters of water per HH is made being supplied (10 lt per day per person). This dry season (2023), drinking water could not be supplied for as long as 10 days. Thus the objective of the project is to improve access to water by intervention in access to electricity through renewable energy. The access to electricity in the area is accomplished through rural community electrification which implies the quality and quantity of the electricity available is not adequate for lifting water. Further in such modality of rural electrification, agriculture meter is not available to the farmers and there comes the challenges of tariff payment. Hence renewable energy intervention is the most effective option. The water from the spring (Rah Khola) at elevation of 1221 masl is aimed to be lifted to a reservoir pond/tank at the elevation of 1606 masl targeting to benefit approximately 150 household. The total vertical height for water lifting is 385m. Thus the three major problem of the project area can be summarized as:

i.     Declining water resources and diminishing agro-production

ii.    Settlement away from water sources

iii.    Unreliable electricity supply



The primary objective of the project is to improve access to water for sustainable commercial climate smart farming practices through integration of Solar Energy and ensure conservation of the spring source. The specific objectives are 

i.     To lift water from the spring for drinking and micro-irrigation

ii.    To conserve the water source (spring) and ensure sustainability of the water lifting project 

iii.   Build capacity of the farmers to undertake climate resilient agro-practice (including integration of micro-irrigation tools). 

iv.   Develop and pilot entrepreneurial ecosystem to identify key stakeholders and market actors and develop segmented supply-chain for agro-produce (starting from producer to consumer) enabling farmers to become an entrepreneur.

CRT Nepal