Based in Kathmandu, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF) is a nonprofit and non-governmental civil society organization dedicated to interdisciplinary research on issues affecting the use and management of water and related natural resources, with a primary focus on the Himalaya-Ganga region. NWCF’s mission is to improve understanding of water and its intrinsic function to human society and nature through interdisciplinary research (often field-based), sharing and dissemination, as well as capacity building of younger professionals. It aims to develop research capacity able to analyze water issues at local, national, regional and international scales.
Since its inception in the late 1980s’, NWCF has focused on generating and disseminating critical knowledge on water management through research, publications, and engagement in public discourse. It has a history of successful trans-boundary engagement within the region through such innovations as the “Patna Initiative” and has sought to address emerging challenges and numerous demands related to water management through shared learning dialogue, working with communities at the local level, as well as with national, regional, and international organizations. Most of the intractable water-related problems being “wicked problems”, NWCF is involved in generating uncomfortable, non-conventional knowledge. Such out-of-the-box thinking, we believe, helps a society undergoing rapid social and economic change to find workable but perhaps clumsy solutions arrived at through constructive engagements with a plurality of stakeholders holding contradictory certitudes regarding water and its use. NWCF shares its research findings through education and public engagements in the media.
NWCF maintains a water library that has a significant collection of gray literature on water and other natural resources. It organizes conferences, seminars, and public debates focused on issues that matter to the larger community of resource managers, policy makers, businessmen and academicians. Trainings are designed with a combination of presentations with interactive exercises, case studies, group discussions and lectures. NWCF discussion forum called Pani Satsang is a successful brand in the forefront of inviting guest lecturers, critical thinkers, policy makers and development professionals to delve into social, economic and environment issues. NWCF believes in helping strengthen institutional capacity of community and civil society groups for informed participation in decision-making processes. Its specific focus being capacity building both of the upcoming generation as well as of disadvantaged groups, it supports initiatives of young professionals to critically analyze issues related to natural resource management, thus creating a pool of interdisciplinary expertise.