et al. Environ Syst Res (2017) 6:19
Assessment of regional changes
for enhancing water availability
Jay Krishna Thakur
, Kapil Khanal
and Kabita Poudyal
Background: The land use plays a crucial role for a particular watershed along with many other identiﬁed and
accepted factors. Momentarily, land cover practices are unorganised in most river basins of Nepal. The study aims at
land cover classiﬁcation, mapping of the changes over the last 25 years, an assessment of the accuracy for land cover
classiﬁcation, consolidation of the people’s perception of the ongoing work, studying trends in the temperature and
precipitation pattern in the last 30 years in the area composed by 4 watersheds of the districts of Kaski and Tanahun of
Chitwan Annapurna Landscape region, Nepal.
Results: This research depicted that the land cover practice is changing in the areas of study. In most of the cases,
the share of open broadleaved forest is higher. In case of closed broadleaved forest, it has improved in the recent
years. Chhabdi Khola and Guhe Khola watersheds show an increase in overall forest cover and decrease in percent-
age of agricultural lands. Overall, despite changing climate, rise of temperature and declining of rainfall pattern, the
vegetation cover shows an increasing tendency which may have positive eﬀects for the water availability in the Kaski
and Tanahun regions.
Conclusions: The following research endeavoured to connect knowledge and people’s perception in order to under-
stand the implications related to land use management and possibly to improve water availability for society. The
investigation includes integrated land use changes, vegetation cover, climatic trends and potential of this knowledge
implementation for local people, farmers, regional and national governing agencies.
Keywords: Enhancing water availability, Regional change monitoring, Chitwan Annapurna landscape region,
Chhabdi Khola, Guhe Khola watersheds, Nepal
© The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
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and indicate if changes were made.
Land use planning plays an integral role in sustainable
conservation and management of catchment’s speciﬁc
resources (van Lier 1998). Catchment’s properties deter
mine various sub-parameters that play an important
role in the water budget within the catchment (Atkin
son 2002). e intricate relationship between vegetation
and water cycle in a micro-catchment deﬁnes the water
cycle in the basin, which in turn redeﬁnes the growth
and productivity of the plant species (akur et al. 2012;
Li et al. 2013; UIZ 2015). Similarly, the nature of the soil
and its spatial distribution also aﬀect the basin’s response
to water availability (Schmidt et al. 2011; akur 2011).
However, this relationship has failed to be understood
by many management interventions and planning pol
icy needs. Momentarily, land cover/land use practices
are unorganised in most (smaller) river basins of Nepal.
Although the target for maintenance of ﬁxed 40% of for
est resources is made by goals and policies in Nepal, there
is often a lack of the mechanisms for sound delineation
of the requisite areas to achieve the balanced ecological
function of nature (Tamrakar 2004).
Land cover veriﬁcation to assess the state of accuracy in
terms of real ground scenario can provide an estimation
of the accuracy with which classiﬁcation was performed.
Studies of the land cover shift are also valuable for analy
sis of the environmental impact of human activities, cli-
mate change and other forces (Singh 2011). Such analysis
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