Conservation Status Of Groundwater In Kathmandu Valley Environmental Sciences Essay

The entire 1.65 million population of Kathmandu vale in 2001 has been enormously increased in 2010 ( about 2.7 million ) with the demand of 270 million litres of H2O per twenty-four hours, but the authorities could merely supply about 10 % of it. So there is important H2O scarceness in the vale doing land H2O ingestion really high in recent old ages. Technicians and other concerned organic structures says that 20 pess deepness would be adequate to pull out H2O in the past but now there is hard to happen H2O even when delving 40feet ( Ramtel, 2010 ) . Groundwater resource is defined by shallow aquifer ( H2O degree up to 100m ) and deep aquifer ( more than 100m ) . The shallow aquifer H2O can be recharged more easy than the deep aquifer H2O. The surface H2O infiltration and infiltration recharge the shoal aquifer easy whereas the deep aquifer where the H2O has been stored since ages, called dodo H2O, can non be recharged easy from the surface H2O infiltration. Different surveies have revealed that the land H2O extraction should non transcend 15 1000000s of litres per twenty-four hours ( MLD ) but in Kathmandu it is about 70 MLD and this tendency diminishing the H2O degree by 2.5m yearly. So when the groundwater degree reduces, there are opportunities of remission of the Earth ‘s surface, which leads to checking and interrupting down of physical substructure. Other facets of job associated with the land H2O extraction dismaies that if this tendency of H2O ingestion continues, so the H2O will be sufficient merely for 90 old ages ( Adhikari, 2009 ) .

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1.1 Statement of job

Every citizen wants to fulfill his/her demands. Needs in the underdeveloped states like Nepal are fulfilled in the capital metropolis. So the increased and increasing population is common. However this addition has besides been extremely influenced by the 12 old ages civil war since 1995-2006 ( McMahon 2006 ) .

Whatever may be the ground for increasing population may be another portion of the survey but in present, the increased population has affected the basic needs i.e. air – polluted, water- scarce, nutrient and commodities- expensive, shelter- land usage pattern alteration to occupants.

Water is a basic demand. A population of about 2.7 1000000s in Kathmandu vale is already beyond transporting capacity. Establishing proper policy and guidelines for H2O supply was already a job with a smaller population in the vale, but now this is out of control with this increased population. The over development has besides resulted in H2O taint by the different pollutants cut downing its useable potency. The pollutants get infiltrated through the contaminated surface H2O like rivers in the shoal aquifer. This has created force per unit area in the usage of deep aquifer which has comparatively good H2O quality. ( Pathak, Hiratsuka et Al. 2009 ) . The high percolated sum of dissolved organic C, pathogens, nitrate, ammonium hydroxide and other organic pollutants from different effluent beginnings and infected wastewaters are extremely act uponing the H2O quality in the aquifer ( Pant 2010 ) .

For the sustainable usage extraction every bit good as recharge should be coincident. The information shows that increasing population denseness of the vale is 3150 to 4680 individual per sq. kilometer. Besides the population denseness the figure of hotels, eating house has besides enormously increased in this decennary lending to the high ingestion of land H2O. Recent information shows that the extraction of land H2O is 21.56 million three-dimensional metre per twelvemonth whereas the recharge is merely 9.6 ( Pandey, Chapagain et Al. 2010 ) .

Research Questions:

On the footing of these statements sing the land H2O, two research inquiries have been derived:

How is the kineticss and preservation position of resources?

What are the bing governments for H2O usage in the Kathmandu vale?

What can be the preservation scheme to work out the job?

Analysis and Discussion

Dynamicss and preservation position of resources:

Water is required for the imbibing, spiritual, agricultural, industrial intents every bit good as for the recreational activities. Until 1891, rock spouts, Wellss and rivers were the common H2O beginnings of the people in Kathmandu vale. Stone spouts were to be a really affiliated H2O supply system for the abode of Kathmandu. It was considered to be the purest beginning for the imbibing intents. Peoples used to depend on rivers ( Bagmati and its feeders ) and dug Wellss for other intents such as lavation, bathing and agribusiness. Therefore, autochthonal people had natural H2O supply system that met the H2O demand of the vale ( Amatya, 2010 ) .

Groundwater of course supplies H2O flow to these spouts and Wellss. Besides this people at that clip were adept to reload the groundwater through the H2O canal ( locally called ‘Rajkulo ‘ ) through the pools in the vale. The connexions of these pools, H2O spouts, Wellss and canals were so efficient that it could supply both measure and quality of H2O to the Kathmandu citizens ( UN-HABITAT 2008 ) .

Table 1: Traditional Rock Spout in the Kathmandu vale



rock spout

Connected with chief supply

Not working

Not Exist


























Madhyapur Thimi












Beginning: NGOFUWS ( 2006 ) cited by: NGO Forum, 2010

Table 1 shows the entire figure of rock spout in the Kathmandu vale with different position of operation. In Kathmandu 33 are in non existence while 34 is non working or dried up. Similarly 2 are connected with the metropolis supply line whereas 96 are of course working.

The local communities ( locally called Guthis ) are involved in the care of this H2O supply and in the festival called Sithinakha ( see as local H2O twenty-four hours ) these guthis get involved in the cleansing of H2O canals, pools and spouts.

Fig 1: Traditional Rock Spout

These autochthonal methods of H2O supply and beginning preservation got ruined when there was debut of piped H2O system a century ago. Piped H2O supply was more convenient than the fetching to the rock spouts, therefore people forgot about it. Besides the population increase and uncontrolled urbanisation demolished the pools, canals which recharge the beginnings.

As mentioned earlier, dug Wellss are common beginning of H2O for cleansing and other domestic intents. Data revealed that about one 1000 such dug Wellss are found in the vale. Peoples with no grapevine supply largely use the dug good for different intents.

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Fig 2: A typical Dug Well

The H2O tabular array in these dug Wellss has been receded due to the low recharge rate. Population growing taking to the rapid urbanisation has declined the H2O tabular array and quality. The deposited dirt in vale has really productive aquifer and the upper unconfined portion of the aquifer serves as the beginning of H2O for these dug Wellss. These aquifers are acquiring pollutants and extremely infected by the coli-form bacteriums and other infective bacteriums particularly in the monsoon season. These pollutants besides enter into the grapevine supply impacting the imbibing H2O ( Dixit and Upadhya 2005 ) .

Time period

Amount ( MLD )

Before 1980




1990-to day of the month


Ponds are the other connected beginning of H2O in the Kathmandu vale. These pools helped to feed the dug Wellss and rock spouts in the vale. The rains in the monsoon are collected in these pools doing easier to acquire uninterrupted and easy entree of H2O in the dug Wellss and rock spouts in the dry season. Local people in their festival ‘Sithinakha ‘ clean up these pools before the monsoon so that it could make full up with the dust and deposits. The deposit filled in the pool is used as manure in the agricultural lands ( Upadhya, 2009 ) . Table 2: History of land H2O extraction in Kathmandu Valley hypertext transfer protocol: // q=tbn: ANd9GcQBTmkiPF6VO9_9LczhkNnSLAuqsM2CmzLYVoL_48W_5kC1-eNOiQ

Fig 3: A Pond in Kathmandu Valley Source: Dhakal,2010

The rock spouts, dug Wellss and the pools are the dynamic H2O beginnings which are unfastened entree. With the rise in population, increased economic activities, urbanisation created the force per unit areas on these beginnings. These activities shrinkage the potency of the beginnings and the output was unequal. As indicated by Dixit and Upadhya, 2005, the usage of H2O pump to utilize the shoal land H2O started in early 1940s in Kathmandu vale which authorities made easy for people in mid 1960s when the recent authorities installed deep tubing Wellss. Then after the 1970s, World Bank funded the H2O betterment undertaking and the history of land H2O extraction began. At present the land H2O is the major beginning of H2O to run into the demand in the all new and old colony where the municipal system can non provide the H2O. Government itself extracts the groundwater and supply in the nucleus metropolis. As the authorities supply is really low in comparing to the demand about every family have deep tubing Wellss to pull out the H2O. Hotels, eating houses and other establishments like industries, colleges, schools, etc have maximum usage of H2O. Since the rate of extraction is really high tan the recharge the groundwater tabular array is dropped quickly.

Existing governments for H2O usage in the Kathmandu vale

The Nepal Water Supply Cooperation ( NWSC ) under has full duties for the planning, look intoing, monitoring, providing H2O in the major metropoliss and municipalities of Nepal including the Kathmandu vale.

Long tally policy mechanism and execution can merely carry through the H2O demand to the increasing population in Kathmandu vale. For turn toing the H2O demand in the vale the authorities has developed a 20 twelvemonth program ( 1997-2017 ) for imbibing H2O supply and sanitation. In order to analyse the bing H2O usage government it is of import to discourse the policies developed by the authorities. In the 9th and 10th five twelvemonth program ( 1997 ) the authorities formulated the policies for affecting the local authorities every bit good as private sector in heightening the H2O supply system. So in 1999, authorities called the look of involvement ( EOI ) to rent the contract of Kathmandu valley H2O supply services ( KVWSS ) to private sector and the authorities agreed the construct of formation of KVWSA in 2000. In the average clip authorities formulated the schemes and policies for H2O supply by the private sector. Again in 2001 the authorities called EOI to rent the contract for KVWSS to private sector following the governmental blessing of direction policy contract of KVWS and sewage operation to private sector. Then in 2003, Asian Development Bank ( ADB ) was positive for institutional reform and had an understanding of approximately 15million US $ with the authorities for the direction and operation. After so Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited ( KUKL ) was formed by the authorities for the H2O public-service corporation operator ( Shrestha 2009 ) .

As mentioned earlier Kathmandu vale is acquiring worse state of affairs penetration of H2O extraction, direction and distribution. So to get the better of these state of affairss Government of Nepal has figured out two different schemes in the Kathmandu vale. The first portion of the schemes that is the infrastructural development trades with the measure and quality of the H2O supply including the sum of 170MLD from the Melamchi River through the recreation of about 27 Km tunnel. These quality and measure are regulated by the intervention installations and commanding escapes, spread outing the webs of supply lying in primary and secondary grapevines severally. The 2nd portion of the schemes is to incorporate the municipalities and the populace at determination devising and policy preparation, to forestall the political intervention at the operational and determination devising procedures, to put to death the cost recovery based duty, to present the Private Sector Participation ( PSP ) mode for the better direction and to maximise the public-service corporation of melamchi H2O supply undertaking. Therefore Kathmandu vale has three entities of maps viz. ownership ( duty of KVWSMB ) including planning and investing, operation ( duty of KUKL ) including H2O supply and sanitation and ordinance ( duty of WSTFC ) for repairing duty ( Shrestha 2009 ) .

Conservation Strategy and Governance

The struggle in the coordination between the demand and supply of the H2O has resulted the outgrowth of H2O markets since few old ages in the vale. More than 100s private company are involved in oiler H2O supply. So the bottled H2O in the vale is on manner as irresistible impulse as the house armored combat vehicles are failed to be filled up by the municipal supply. The fail in regular municipal has some deductions on the H2O beginning used by the private companies, its quality and on the other manus the monetary value of the H2O. There is no proper counsel and policy to command over the quality and monopoly in the monetary value ( Dixit 2009 ) .

Policies and Torahs execution for the current state of affairs, alternate methods acceptance and long term methods design can be a good manner of scheme for the preservation of H2O in the vale. Government of Nepal is fixing to implement the ‘Groundwater Management Policy ‘ for the first clip in history to command and modulate the groundwater extraction in the vale. Harmonizing to the implementing bureau KVWSMB along with ministry of physical planning and works, the individual or any establishment who are utilizing the land H2O for the commercial intents now have to pay revenue enhancement to the authorities. This policy will be based on the use of H2O by the establishment. The execution starts from placing the figure of tubing Wellss and publishing the licence to them ( NGO Forum, 2009 ) .

There are some other ways that can cut down the usage of the land H2O ingestion. By the 2012 may be the biggest Melamchi H2O supply undertaking will be on operation. It will provide 170MLD H2O in the vale. However it is still deficient for the demand. But can be a great support to the authorities and people. Other options could be the historical direction of the H2O from the bing beginnings of rock spouts, dug Wellss and pools as discussed earlier. Other most possible options can be the rainwater harvest home in the vale. This alternate can reload the aquifer for the land H2O every bit good as alter the tendencies of development of land H2O. The mean one-year rainfall of Kathmandu vale is about 1900mm ( twice the universe ‘s norm ) . In the country 640 about 1.2 billion three-dimensional metre of H2O falls in a twelvemonth which will be 3353MLD in a twenty-four hours covering the 12 times more than the demand. If merely 10 % of this entire country could be harvested so about 128million three-dimensional metre of H2O can be collected in a twelvemonth. So a concrete vision, policy and execution methods, techniques should be incorporated for the rainwater harvest home ( Shrestha 2009 ) .

The different ways discussed above are the possible short tem thoughts for the land H2O preservation and H2O supply in the vale. However in a long term the protection of environment could merely be the sustainable manner i.e. the protection and preservation of Bagmati watershed country ( 3719 ) . The watershed country is within the Nepal and reaches the Ganges River in India. Shivapuri is the beginning of Bagmati River and is the of import catchment country for the H2O supply in the vale. Therefore preservation scheme for this H2O shed, land usage direction, planning, etc supply a long term solution of H2O and besides would supply a resilient ecological societal system.


The historical H2O supply system and its direction is the most scientific and effectual as compared to the today ‘s status of H2O supply and sanitation. So people should be reflected back to conserve these system ( spouts, pools, aquifer ) and do them cognizant to heighten the traditional system to run into the local H2O demand. Technical surveies, research and certification of these systems should be done for the future investing and direction.

Norms, values, involvements on resources are non still institutionalized in our context particularly in the instance of common pool resources like H2O. Institutional thought, institutional memory, and institutional civilization is missing in our development sector. Decision-making procedures in the establishments are non participatory ; effectual and rational. They are instead guided or imposed by the givers or the political state of affairs. Therefore, a ego guided motive and system should be developed.

Conservation and direction of the resources should be a national docket in the state like Nepal. Water preservation techniques, methods of low and effectual usage of resources like H2O should be given prioritise in instruction which provides a base of resource direction and use in the hereafter.


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