Nepal WASH Blog Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) & Development in Nepal

April 27, 2011

Apartments to grounds

Filed under: Ground water,Rain Water Harvesting,Urban — Anita Pradhan @ 9:00 am

Groundwater, a reliable resource for drinking and production, is under severe stress in Kathmandu Valley because of the excessive groundwater. The process of urbanisation in Nepal has altered the natural setting of the environment; land surface is completely disturbed reducing groundwater recharging area and direct infiltration of excess rainfall. Ultimately this increases the surface runoff that quickly removes the rainwater, influencing the total amount of infiltration, reducing the subsurface flow and recharge.

A suitable and applicable method of recharging groundwater is through rainwater harvesting. Simple calculations have suggested that substantial amounts of water could be made available if shallow groundwater can be recharged with the help of rainwater. With a catchment area of 656 Km2, Kathmandu Valley receives an annual rainfall of 1,500 mm on an average. Data collected (as of 2065 BS – 2008/09) from the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) shows that there are altogether 103 numbers of housing and high rise apartments, including both constructed and under-construction. 

The study found that the total theoretical volume of water available for natural recharge (due to rain fall) in the areas covered by 12 apartments and housings (before construction) is 1,251,563 m3. Considering practicality in rainfall recharging, it has been stated that only 15 – 20 percent of the total rainfall in a particular area gets recharged. According to this, the possible recharge that could take place naturally in these areas is 250,313 m3 (20 percent of 1,251,563 m3, i.e. theoretical natural recharge within these areas). Based on Nepal’s experience, the cost of rainwater harvesting installation is 68.8 USD per sq m of the roof catchment but this does not include the cost of preliminary treatment units. 

The total potential volume of water that can be harvested from these 12 apartments and housings is 3.33 times the total volume of water consumption (155,104 m3) in a year. When we generalise from this study conducted in 12 apartments and housings with 681 units, it can be said that 77 percent of the total volume of water can be harvested from built up areas and 41 percent of theoretically available volume of rainwater in any apartment and housings for natural recharge can be tapped for recharging groundwater.

The post is written by Mr Kabir Das Rajbhandari, Programme Manager – Urban, WaterAid in Nepal.

April 21, 2011

Link of the week – 21 to 27 April 2011

Filed under: Ground water,Link of the week,Media,Rain Water Harvesting,Urban — Anita Pradhan @ 9:00 am

Apartments to the grounds

Water management is a very critical aspect of growth and development of any economy, more so in a developing country like Nepal which is endowed with many water resources that need to be conserved, better managed, recharged and channelized for meeting the ever increasing requirements of present trend of urban growth of Nepal which is one of the highest in the South Asian region. Groundwater is a reliable resource for drinking and production, both in terms of quantity and quality. More – Click here for our link of the week – 21 to 27 April 2011

The article is written by Mr Kabir Das Rajbhandari, Programme Manager – Urban at WaterAid in Nepal and published on Republica on Sunday 17 April 2011.

March 26, 2011

Nepalese walked calling to create urgeny for water and sanitation

Thousands of campaigners in Nepal walked today in the streets of Kathmandu demanding the government to take concrete actions and political leadership to provide sanitation and water for all Nepalese.

As part of “Walk for Water’” campaign participants completed an hour-long walk from Dasarath Stadium, Tripureshwar to Khulla Manch.

Addressing walkers at Khulla Manch Mr Navin Raj Joshi, Constituent Assembly Member of Nepal has committed to enable environment in declaration of sanitation and water as fundamental rights in the constitution of Nepal being under draft.

“Lack of water and sanitation traps people in a vicious circle of disease, lost life chances and poverty.” said Ashutosh Tiwari, Country Representative, WaterAid in Nepal. “While the country waits to take action on the water and sanitation crisis, 10,500 children below five years die annually in the country from related illnesses. Campaigners are demanding the government to take action on this deadly emergency.”

“Let’s end water crisis from which Nepalese are suffering everyday.” appeals Ms Jharana Thapa, Cine Actress and Sanitation Brand Ambassador.

“Walk for Water”: a joint collaboration with civil society organisations working on sanitation and water is just a beginning and Rotary International will concentrate more in future providing girls access to sanitation at public and community schools.” said Mr Rajiv Pokhrel, President, Rotary Club of Metro Kathmandu.

“We are more sensitive to conserve water and will support in future on initiatives for water and sanitation in Nepal.” said Mr Diwakar Poudel, Head, Corporate Affairs.

“Nepal government must declare sanitation and water as fundamental rights of people in context where UN has declared access to basic sanitation and water as human rights.” demands Dr Suman Shakya, Representative on behalf of Civil Society Organisation working on Sanitation and Water in Nepal.

Cartoon exhibition related to water and people’s insights on water scarcity was also displayed at Khulla Manch.

WaterAid together with Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Limited, Rotary International District 3292 Nepal, End Water Poverty Campaign – Sanitation and Water for All, civil society organisation working on sanitation, water and hygiene: Center for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD), Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO), Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users Nepal (FEDWASUN) Lumanti- Support Group for Shelter, Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH), NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation (NGOFUWS), Urban Environment Management Society (UEMS), Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and Guthi jointly organised the “Walk for Water”.

February 8, 2011

Photo of the week – 8 to 14 February 2011

Filed under: Advocacy,Photo of the week,Urban,poverty — Anita Pradhan @ 9:00 am

Women from 32 households struggling to extract drinking water from 288 years old traditional dug well located in Tun Chuka (communal courtyard with the dug well), located in Lalitpur District of Nepal in shivering cold of Kathmandu Valley in a dark morning while most were sleeping. Since mid January communities are suffering from decreased ground water level in urban areas where many people are living in little space. Women from each household have to wait for an hour to collect a bucket of water. In such locality low income people migrated from all over the country displaced by political conflict are staying as poor renters.

February 2, 2011

Woe continues in search of a bucket of drinking water

Filed under: Community Water Management,Urban — Anita Pradhan @ 9:00 am

1 February 2011, Pimbahal , Lalitpur District in Nepal

In the cold morning of Kathmandu Valley women from 32 households struggle to extract drinking water from a 288-years-old traditional dug well located in Tun Chuka (communal courtyard with the dug well). The community has a rule – each household can draw a bucket of water for drinking and a jug of water for Nila (holy water to tribute to god) free of cost. If they need more water, they have to pay a rupee per bucket. The dug well opens from 5:30 AM – 7:30 AM and volunteers record the time each taken to fetch water.     

The water level decreased since mid-January, now they wait for five minutes in every five draws of bucket to discharge water into the well spending at least an hour collecting water. Although the government supplies water, it only does once every five days. Lack of water storage capacity at homes has increased dependency on this well. The government water supply never flows through the taps connected to the five households, four households never even applied to the Drinking Water Corporation to get water supply system for fear of gambling their hard earned money for water that rarely flows.

Ground water level in Kathmandu is decreasing due to over extraction and increasing demand from the growing population. A decade long conflict forced people to migrate urban areas. If the situation prolongs, I doubt that people will be getting water from this very well after five years. This is an indicator of what could happen to Kanthmanduites. According to estimates, Melamchi Drinking Water project will not be able to fulfill demands of water supply in Kathmandu valley.

I look forward to hear from you on mindful of questions below:

  • How long can we cope with such water scarcity?
  • Do Kathmanduties have solution? Do we wait for a new constitution?
  • Do we have a solution in our political context?
  • How long will the people of Kathmandu valley struggle for their right?
  • Shouldn’t our rigorous debates also focus on this matter?

Govind Shrestha, Research and Advocacy Officer, WaterAid in Nepal

January 18, 2011

Photo of the week – 18 to 24 January 2011

Filed under: Hygiene,Photo of the week,Urban — Anita Pradhan @ 9:00 am

Community Health Volunteer from The Biratnagar giving orientation on Personal Hygiene to Savings and Credit Group of the community located in the Biratnagar Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Project (BiWASH) in Morang District of Eastern Nepal.

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