Nepal | January 16, 2021

‘Recharge Kathmandu programme unlikely to bear fruit’

Ujjwal Satyal
Share Now:

Around 114 million litres of groundwater is extracted through deep borewells

Kathmandu, February 22

Kathmandu Metropolitan City recently inaugurated the much-hyped ‘Recharge Kathmandu’ programme in a bid to recharge the valley’s water table, which is rapidly declining due to intensive extraction of groundwater through deep borewells.

The programme began last Tuesday with the inauguration of a project which is likely to recharge groundwater in around 500 metre square of open area on the premises of KMC’s Ward No 26 office, in Gongabu.

Activists and water experts, however, said the KMC’s initiative to recharge the shallow aquifer beneath the earth’s surface would hardly have any impact considering the rapid decrease in the level of groundwater. KMC is spending Rs 500,000 for the programme that will harvest 767,000 litres of rainwater and recharge the groundwater.

Groundwater recharge rate is way less than the amount of groundwater extracted every day in Kathmandu valley. Around 114 million litres of groundwater is extracted every day through deep borewells inside Kathmandu valley. The amount includes 80 million litres of water extracted by Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited, an authorised body to provide drinking water inside Kathmandu valley. KUKL extracts 80 million litres of water per day from 80 borewells that run more than 200 metres deep into the earth surface. Rest of the water is extracted by more than 900 privately owned deep borewells the valley.

Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board, a government body authorised to provide licence to drill deep borewells inside Kathmandu valley states that there are above 1,000 deep borewells, out of which only 725 have been registered with them.

KVWSMB requires that every individual who digs a deep borewell must manage groundwater recharge system on their own, but very few people abide by the rule. Sanjeev Rana, executive director of KVWSMB, said so far only 125 registered deep borewells have water recharge system.

Prakash Amatya, chairman of GUTHI, an organisation that works to promote rain water harvest, said the government should focus on effectively implementing the rule to manage groundwater recharge system. He also said government should introduce incentives for industries and offices to encourage them to harvest rain water or install groundwater recharge system. Amatya said Rani Pokhari before the 2015 earthquakes was the best example for harvesting rainwater and recharging groundwater. He said Rani Pokhari, in the heart of the city, used to be refilled by the rainwater collected in nearby Durbar High School and Tri-Chandra college until a few years ago. Amatya said, “KMC could have introduced such programmes rather than installing water recharge systems, which is the responsibility of those who dig deep borewells.” He also criticised KMC for not enforcing existing laws that could have been instrumental in recharging groundwater in the valley.

Every year during rainy season, cities in Kathmandu valley get inundated due to rain water. Water experts say that one of the reasons for inundation is increasing concretisation. Environmentalist Bhusan Tuladhar said, “Our city is turning into a shield which obstructs rainwater from entering deep into the earth. This has destroyed natural drainage and all rainwater directly gets into the river system, which ultimately result into floods.”

Tuladhar suggested that the government should bring new rules with incentives to install rainwater recharge systems in private houses and organisations. A report made public by Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1990 stated that there could be a major natural imbalance if the extraction rate of groundwater exceeded 150 million litred per day inside Kathmandu valley

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Photo Gallery: NC student cadres demonstrate against House dissolution

Kathmandu, January 15 Seen in the pictures below are youth activists affiliated to the main opposition Nepali Congress taking part in a tug of war during a protest against the dissolution of House, in Kathmandu, on Friday. On December 20, PM Oli recommended the dissolution of House of Represen Read More...

Constitutional bench to adjudicate House dissolution case

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana today ruled that cases field against the dissolution of the House of Representatives would be heard by the same bench continuously from Sunday. The SC passed the order after hear Read More...

At least 42 dead as Indonesia quake topples homes, buildings

MAMUJU, INDONESIA: A strong, shallow earthquake shook Indonesia's Sulawesi island just after midnight Friday, toppling homes and buildings, triggering landslides and killing at least 42 people. More than 600 people were injured by the magnitude 6.2 quake, which sent people fleeing their homes in Read More...

Biden: We'll 'manage the hell' out of feds' COVID response

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: President-elect Joe Biden pledged Friday to boost supplies of coronavirus vaccine and set up new vaccination sites to meet his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. It's part of a broader COVID strategy that also seeks to straighten out snags in testing and ensure minority com Read More...

Dahal-Nepal faction to seek clarification from prime minister

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal today decided to seek clarification from Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for acting against the party’s objectives, goals, programmes, and statute. NCP Standing Committee member Bhim Bahadur Rawal Read More...

Rooney stops playing to take Derby manager job permanently

All-time record scorer for England and Manchester United. A haul of 16 trophies. Wayne Rooney's illustrious playing career is over. Former England and United captain has decided it's time to focus on trying to replicate his successes as a striker in management. After taking temporary charg Read More...

Gyawali stresses need to find agreeable boundary alignment

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today said in New Delhi that finding an agreeable boundary alignment in the remaining segments might not only take Nepal and India to the stage of fully settled international boundary, but might also help generate positive vi Read More...

Nepali Congress to hold protests in all local levels today

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Nepali Congress is set to hold protests against the dissolution of the House of Representatives in all the 753 local levels on Saturday. Issuing a press release, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba appealed to all the citizens to express solidarity with the protest to be held Read More...