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Watershed Condition

Watershed Condition of Nepal

More than 6000 rivers and rivulets constituting watersheds of varying sizes (big basins to micro-watersheds) intersect the physiographic regions of Nepal. These watersheds possess distinct characteristics depending on the origin of the rivers and rivulets from different physiographic regions. Four major rivers drain Nepal: Sapta Koshi in the east, Sapta Gandaki in the middle, Karnali in the west and Mahakali in the far-west. These are class I rivers which originate from High Himalayas. Tributaries of these rives are class II and class III rivers which originate from Mahabharat mountain and Siwaliks, respectively. Many watersheds of Nepal are in a state of physical and biological degradation due to the over-exploitation of watershed resources by the inhabitants.

A reconnaissance survey carried out using imageries has assessed the watershed condition of the Major Ecological Land Units. Watershed condition is an estimated index representing the current state of soil erosion in an area in comparison with that of area under natural or "well managed" condition. The watershed conditions were categorized into five classes (Table 1).

Excellent (1). In or near undisturbed condition. Natural erosion processes including landslides may be present.

Good (2). Minor amounts of disturbances may be present. Correction can come about through normal management practices. Education and extension have a major role here. Productivity of land is not significantly impaired.

Fair (3). Significant disturbance in the soil mantle and / or stream channel exist. Productivity of land is diminished. A combination of education and structural remedies are required.

Poor (4). Disturbance by accelerated erosion is serious and results in considerable stream sedimentation and reduced land productivity. Extension, structural and land use changes are required to upgrade the land to a productive condition.

Very Poor (5). Accelerated erosion is advanced. Agricultural and forest productivity is absent or greatly reduced. Sediment production and extreme runoff conditions have effectively destroyed the natural character of the streams. Rehabilitation requires structural protection and high investment cultural practices.nd Mahakali in the far-west. These are class I rivers which originate from High Himalayas. Tributaries of these rives are class II and class III rivers which originate from Mahabharat mountain and Siwaliks, respectively. Many watersheds of Nepal are in a state of physical and biological degradation due to the over-exploitation of watershed resources by the inhabitants.(Table 1).ivity of land is not significantly impaired.



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