The BCRWME pilot project aims to provide access to more reliable water resources for domestic purposes and irrigation for communities living in the Lower West Seti and Budhi Ganga Watersheds of the Karnali River basin which are significantly vulnerable to climate change. 15 rural municipalities and 10 municipalities (earlier 108 VDCs) have been selected in six districts in the Far Western Development Region of Nepal: Achham, Baitaidi, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura and Doti.
The West Seti and Budhiganga rivers have been classified hydrologically as areas that experience a short summer monsoon and reduced precipitation but snow- and ice-melt at high altitude; consequently, they have a low, marked August peak flow regime.
These hydrogeological and hydrological characteristics pose challenges to communities in maintaining year round sustainable water supply for drinking water/basic needs as well as for irrigation and other beneficial uses.
These challenging natural characteristics are exacerbated by difficult socio-economic conditions. While on average a quarter of the Nepalese population live below the national poverty line, work by ICIMOD indicates that poverty generally in Nepal is far greater in the mountain and hill regions compared with the plains and that the far-western hill region has the highest proportion of population living in total poverty.