Impact of Climate Change on Water Availability and Food Security of Nepal


  • Roshan Kumar Mehta student at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, (Tribhuwan University), Rampur, Chitwan
  • Shree Chandra Shah Professor of Soil Science in the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Chitwan



Agriculture, climate change, water availability, food security, Nepal


The increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is widely believed to be causing climate change. It affects agriculture, forestry, human health, biodiversity, and snow cover and aquatic life. Changes in climatic factors like temperature, solar radiation and precipitation have potential to influence agrobiodiversity and its production. An average of 0.04°C/ year and 0.82 mm/year rise in annual average maximum temperature and precipitation respectively from 1975 to 2006 has been recorded in Nepal. Frequent droughts, rise in temperature, shortening of the monsoon season with high intensity rainfall, severe floods, landslides and mixed effects on agricultural biodiversity have been experienced in Nepal due to climatic changes. A survey done in the Chitwan District reveals that lowering of the groundwater table decreases production and that farmers are attracted to grow less water consuming crops during water scarce season. The groundwater table in the study area has lowered nearly one meter from that of 15 years ago as experienced by the farmers. Traditional varieties of rice have been replaced in the last 10 years by modern varieties, and by agricultural crops which demand more water for cultivation. The application of groundwater for irrigation has increased the cost of production and caused severe negative impacts on marginal crop production and agro-biodiversity. It is timely that suitable adaptive measures are identified in order to make Nepalese agriculture more resistant to the adverse impacts of climate change, especially those caused by erratic weather patterns such as the ones experienced recently.


Hydro Nepal Special Issue: Conference Proceedings 2012 pp.59-63


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How to Cite

Mehta, R. K., & Shah, S. C. (2012). Impact of Climate Change on Water Availability and Food Security of Nepal. Hydro Nepal: Journal of Water, Energy and Environment, 11(1), 59–63.