It was necessary for Nepal to establish a research centre to study and solve the complex issues
and problems associated with hydraulics and sediment in its Himalayan steep rivers for sustainable
water resources development. Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University (IOE-TU) in mid
eighties planned for a Water Resource Research Centre in Nepal. A hydraulic laboratory was
set up with joint co-operation between Norwegian University of Technology and IOE-TU to carry
out physical hydraulic model study of headworks of 12 MW hydropower project. The study continued
for the period from1989 to 1991.
Professor Dagfinn K. Lysne
from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) was instrumental in materializing
this hydraulic laboratory. Similarly, the physical model study for the headworks of 60 MW hydropower
project was also performed in the same laboratory in 1996 to 1997. In order to provide continuation
to this work, Hydro Lab Private Limited (Hydro Lab) was established with the financial support
from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Since the establishment, Hydro
Lab has cooperation with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and International
Centre for Hydropower (ICH) Norway. NTNU and ICH has been providing scientific and technical
support to the Hydro Lab.
The utmost importance of physical hydraulic scale model is accepted and recognized because of
the fact that empirical formula and computer simulation are not sufficient for a reliable hydraulic
design of hydraulic structures for headworks. As every river is different from the other in
terms of hydraulic behaviour and sediment transport, model study becomes essential to ensure
the sustainability of designed headworks in a proposed location.
Water resource is the most important natural heritage of Nepal. Nepal’s economy can be
uplifted only through harnessing the abundantly flowing steep rivers in Nepal. Rivers are exploited
by building structures in the rivers for hydropower, irrigation and drinking water projects.
For the successful growth of water resource development projects it is important to have a
centre which can fulfil the technical need for safe and reliable design and operation of the
projects. Hydro Lab was founded to meet this need of the hour and the country.
It is worth mentioning that Hydro Lab is the only and first research organisation in Nepal which
is capable of performing physical hydraulic model studies for water resources development projects.
Besides, it has developed expertise in hydro turbine efficiency measurement and sediment studies.