Kathmandu Metropolitan City has put in place 'Kathmandu Recharge Programme Operating Procedure, 2021' in a bid to enhance the groundwater level through proper rainwater harvesting in the capital city.

Under this programme, KMC will identify the potential areas and their capacity for rainwater harvesting and the recharge systems inside the metropolis. As per the procedure recently published in the Local Gazette, this programme is also mandated to conduct baseline survey of water table, assess the condition of stone spouts and wells, make projection of water table in shallow areas of the city and conduct feasibility study.

The procedure states that KMC will carry out construction works related to rainwater harvesting and recharge in government buildings, public buildings, community schools, non-profit organisations and their premises under the programme. A foundation stone has already been laid to install rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge systems at Naxal-based Nandi Ratri School as part of a water replenishing tool to help students of the school get rid of water shortage and ensure sufficient water supply in the locality.

According to the procedure, KMC will dig recharge wells and carry out other necessary construction works on public land, parks and open spaces for groundwater recharge in a bid to meet the water demand through the traditional source.

Currently, the demand for water in Kathmandu is around 450 million litres per day. Even if Melamchi Water Supply Project distributes 170 million litres on a daily basis, there will be a shortfall of nearly 280 million litres. There is a need to opt for alternative sources to bridge the gap between demand and supply, according to KMC.

Water being supplied by Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited accounts for nearly 50 per cent of groundwater, which is extracted through deep boring.

It is also contributing to depletion of water level in Kathmandu.

The campaign aims to raise the level of groundwater of the capital city. The groundwater level of the city is in a depleting state. So it needs to be recharged.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.