Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Nepal.

Impacts Water

Nepal’s water resources are extensive. However, projected reductions in winter snows could reduce available snowmelt levels during spring and summer. Also, increased temperatures could result in greater winter runoff. The behavior of Himalayan glaciers under a changing climate (particularly a climate with higher temperatures) is still a subject of debate, but increased melting will in the long term reduce the country’s water supply, rendering many of the country’s irrigated lands vulnerable. Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) also threaten the country’s water resources, contributing significantly to river sedimentation and thus impacting hydropower generation. The country’s current water management plan posits a significant effort in increasing the country’s irrigated lands, hydropower generation, and domestic water supply. All of these goals should be viewed through a climate variability and change lens in order to avoid mal-adaptation. In spite of the extensive water resources in the country, poor and inadequate management infrastructure have reduced water quality, particularly in the country’s urban areas, where the population continues to increase at a rate of 5% annually. Water stress and scarcity are now commonplace in Katmandu, and these issues will be exacerbated under a changing climate.

This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.