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A review of financial, governance and technical  challenges impacting the sustainability of rural water supply schemes in Sarlahi and Rautahat districts in Terai and Nuwakot, and Gorkha and Dhading districts in the Hills region.

TitleDigging deep behind the complexities of sustainable water supply in Nepal
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAdhikari, A
Secondary TitleAll systems go! WASH Systems Symposium, The Hague, the Netherlands, 12-14 March 2019
Pagination9 p. : 3 tab.
Date Published02/2019
Place PublishedThe Hague, the Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordswater user committees

It has almost been five years since the report identifying high non-functionality of rural water supply schemes in Nepal (only 25% of systems are functional). It was found that the major factors of the non-functionality of rural water supply has been because of the institutional capacity, financing of rural water supply delivery, assets management, water resource management, and monitoring and regulation. However, an in depth contextualised analysis of the root causes of system failure, proper mechanisms to finance capital maintenance, ddecentralise technical capacity and solutions to existing inefficient financial and managerial models of the scheme, has not been done. We know the problems but are still struggling to identify evidence-based solutions. Therefore, this working paper explores the data behind the challenges presented. We look at three key areas i) financial challenges: what does financial challenges really mean, who is impacted and what are the financial consequences for the system, ii) how the governance of water supplies at the scheme and local level impact their sustainability, iii) how technical challenges impact the sustainability of the services. The research identified that schemes have some common technical problems around pipes, pumps, deep well and electrical systems which have increased operation and maintenance costs for rural water supply schemes. Collection of unscientifically calculated tariffs and unclear mechanisms to finance capital maintenance, and in many cases, with a slower adoption curve to household connections from shallow tube wells or community taps, have led to insufficient operation and maintenance funds causing scheme dysfunctionality. [author abstract]


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