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Increasing the Resilience and Effectiveness of Small and Medium Scale Irrigation Systems in Nepal

Agriculture in Nepal is predominantly small-scale farming, almost half of which is dependent on rainfall. Irrigation development in Nepal is fraught with challenges such as old infrastructure, vulnerability to climatic shocks and poor efficiency. Policy frameworks for the sectors currently do not address mainstreaming climate change in sectoral plans such as irrigation.

LEAD is supporting the Ministry of Irrigation, Government of Nepal to increase the resilience and effectiveness of irrigation systems to address increasing climate change risk.


  • Provide a framework including updated standards to increase the resilience and effectiveness of the design of small and medium scale irrigation systems that can address increasing climate change risk.
  • Improve the approach and methodology of the Government and other development partners with regard to planning and delivery of climate irrigation systems.
  • Generate new and transferable knowledge by assessing water systems in place and identifying means to increase access for small and medium size farmers to irrigation systems also focusing on impacts of climate change to the system.
  • To conduct systems analysis of irrigation also focusing on pro-poor policy analysis.
  • To ensure that the new framework plans and standards are well understood by the relevant governing and implementing parties, to maximise their implementation.


  • The main output of the project will be the framework document which will outline the policy, regulatory and investment options required to increase the resilience and effectiveness of small and medium scale irrigation systems.
  • The framework will include actions needed to cope with climate change, based on scientific evidence combined with input from local farmers. This will inform the new Irrigation Master Plan which is now under preparation. The framework will help MOI, DOI and other agencies in the planning and delivery of efficient, effective, equitable and climate-resilient irrigation systems at the benefit of farmers, food security and the wider economy.

Other Details

Start Date:03/01/2015
End Date:02/28/2017
Funded by:DFID, DGIS
Supplier(s):Mott Macdonald


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