Ample underground water for City: Expert

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 16:

The underground water in the Valley is enough to meet the rising demand for potable water here, a water management expert today said. At an interaction organised by Water Federation of Nepal, Ishwar Raj Wanta, an engineer with 38 years’ experience in the related field, said Kathmandu is rich enough in underground water.

“We can draw as much as 175 million litre a day (MLD) from the underground water resource of the Valley,” he said, adding this could be done by digging 70 deep-wells. “By renovating 31 wells that are currently working, we can draw 20 MLD of water, and by rebuilding 18 old wells, we can add 26 MLD,” he said. Digging a deep-well would cost around Rs 10 million and the total cost for management of drinking water in the valley would be Rs 70 million, he said.

The government is busy with a $464 million project to bring water from Melamchi valley via a 26.5 km long tunnel.

The current demand for drinking water in the valley is 150 MLD and the government agency, Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC), supplies 120 MLD in summer and 80 MLD in winter. The ambitious Melamchi project is aimed at providing 170 MLD of water in the initial phase.

Wanta said there are 363 deep-wells in the valley of which 75 are handled by the NWSC. However, only 31 of them are working. Even so, 50 per cent of the demand is being met with groundwater.