Technology is important but it should be used to enhance the working of traditional water management systems, not to replace them says Dipak Gyawali, Nepal-based water expert. Do not look for 100% solutions, he advises. So, for example, one could use rainwater harvesting to meet a part of the water needs and piped/tanker water for the rest. Cities should not becomes centres of resource colonisation, he asserts.
Mr Gyawali is Pragya (Academician) of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and Research Director of the non-profit Nepal Water Conservation Foundation. He is a hydroelectric power engineer and a political economist who, during his time as Minister of Water Resources, initiated reforms in the electricity and irrigation sectors focused on decentralization and promotion of rural participation in governance. He also initiated the first national review and comparison of Nepali laws with the guidelines of the World Commission on Dams. He has been involved, inter alia, as guest scholar and researcher at various institutions such as the Queen Elizabeth House in Oxford, the Norwegian Center for Research in Organization and Management, the International Environmental Academy in Geneva, at the London School of Economics, and at the United Nations University in Yokohama as UNESCO visiting professor of water and cultural diversity. He has served as a member of the panel of experts for the Mekong River Commission reviewing its basin development plan. He is the founding chair of Nepal’s first liberal arts college, the Nepa School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Dipak Gyawali has been conducting interdisciplinary research on the interface between technology and society, and has published numerous articles on the topic of water, energy, dams, and climate change issues.