Nepal's water sector is experiencing significant shifts due to its transition to a federal system, prompting a reevaluation of legal and policy frameworks to clarify roles across government levels. A major proposal under consideration is adopting a river-basin-based framework for improved governance and management. While aimed at enhancing operations and Integrated Water Resource Management, this reform faces challenges. The sector's future hinges on successfully avoiding conflict, forging consensus, and enhancing collaboration among institutions and governments, with river basin offices playing a pivotal role.
In this episode, Saumitra Neupane and Jane Doolan, an Australian water management specialist, on the intricacies of multi-jurisdictional water governance. They discuss Australia's established practices and the parallels between Nepal's shift to federal water governance, focusing on transparent and credible institutional frameworks. Jane's insights cover the development of water regulations, the efficacy of water markets, and sustainable water allocation in Australia. The dialogue also delves into the impacts of climate change on water resources, providing valuable lessons for Nepal as it considers adopting similar strategies in its federal framework. The episode is an enlightening discussion on the importance of stakeholder trust and sustainable practices in water resource management.
Dr. Jane Doolan brings over 25 years of experience in sustainable water resource management, offering policy advice to Australian and state governments on a wide array of issues including water supply and security, national water reform, and river health. Her career features significant roles in intergovernmental policy, especially concerning the Murray–Darling Basin, and in overseeing major water projects. Jane currently serves as a Director of Southern Rural Water Corporation in Victoria, is a Founding member of the Water Policy Group, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, and chairs various consultative and advisory committees. Her past roles include Environment Commissioner with the Australian Productivity Commission, Commissioner with the National Water Commission, and Deputy Secretary for Water in the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries.