**How has hydropower performed in Nepal?
How could climate change impact on existing and planned hydropower
generation in the country?**
This case study draws on a literature review and in-country stakeholder
consultations to understand the issues surrounding hydropower
performance and development in Nepal. The report includes sections on
the case study context, systematic mapping of water-energy-food systems,
hydropower performance and its influencing factors, and identifies
interventions for increasing the positive impacts of hydropower schemes
on water, energy and food security.
The case study found a clear need for Nepal to develop storage-type
hydropower projects to generate much needed electricity in its dry
season, with the added benefits of increasing resilience to climate
change and increased provision of irrigation water. However, in order to
ensure that the best overall value and efficiency is achieved for Nepal,
in terms of the broader water, energy and food security benefits, it
will be necessary to carefully select which prospective schemes are
developed with reference to their social and environmental impacts which
tend to be high for storage-type schemes.
Interventions identified which could help maximise the water, energy and
food security benefits from Nepal’s considerable hydropower potential
- Assess environmental and social impacts and climate change resilience
of development at promising sites identified by the storage-type
hydropower master plan.
- Develop a robust methodology for analysing climate change impacts on
existing and new hydropower projects and incorporating them in
- Improve silt load monitoring and flood forecasting to prevent loss of
storage volume or turbine damage.
- Further develop community-scale hydropower by increasing the number of
schemes and their impact.
- Reduce land degradation and erosion issues by working with local
- Research and develop payments for ecosystem services approach for the
This report has been produced for Evidence on Demand by HR Wallingford
with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development
(DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and
Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL
PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE
Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited. It was produced for DFID’s
Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme.
Hurford, A.P.; Wade, S.D.; Winpenny, J. Nepal case study: Harnessing hydropower. Evidence on Demand, UK (2014) viii + 69 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.august2014.hurfordetal03]