Scoping mission to improve water management in the hills of Nepal

A household tap in rural Nepal Photo: Arnoud Keizer

 Last month RAIN, a brand of Aidenvironment, assessed the management of piped water systems in the WASH SDG program area in Nepal – Surkhet and Banke districts.

An estimated 25% of rural water supply schemes in Nepal is not functional. One root cause of this failure is the strong focus on realizing new water systems. Operational planning of existing schemes often lacks, and the maintenance strategy ‘when it breaks down one seeks funds to repair it is prevalent. Consequently, downtime increases, while service levels and the willingness to pay diminish. This results in a downward spiral in functionality and insufficient or inactive supply of water to the communities who use it for drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and agricultural purposes.

Discussion with members of a Water User Committee in one of the Wards visited. Photo: Arnoud Keizer

In a scoping mission RAIN and PRACTICA explored how functionality of piped water schemes in the program area can be improved, supporting lead partners and Water User Committees in asset management. Asset management is a tool to optimize the income generation and thereby the functionality of a water system. By defining the service level one can estimate the cost of maintenance. This cost estimate forms a basis for water price definition and financial monitoring. The results per scheme can be used for business case development, to determine short and long term investment strategy, as well as communication to municipalities about the anticipated needs and expectations.

For more information, please contact Arnoud Keizer