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Water getting more scarce for Valley folk

Kathmandu, May 03, 2016: As the water crisis in Kathmandu Valley worsens, desperate people have started protesting in front of the offices of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL).

A prolonged drought and the earthquake impact have resulted in drying up of water sources and depletion of groundwater.

The water distribution system in the Valley goes haywire in the dry season, with consumers having to wait for almost two weeks in many places to get piped water.

“Every day five to seven delegations of consumer groups visit offices complaining about the lack of water,” said Bijay Shrestha, a divisional chief at the KUKL. He added that the utility faces a tougher problem managing water distribution this year. “Surface water is drying up in the absence of rains to recharge the aquifer in some places,” Shrestha added.

The state-run KUKL supplies water to 200,000 households in the Valley. While the daily demand is 370 million litres per day (mld), it has been supplying only 90mld.

People of Chhetrapati, Kirtipur, Swoyambhu, Tripureshwor and Kalanki have been deprived of water the most as they are supplied only once in 13 days.

The earthquakes not only damaged the sources, the distribution system was also hit. More than 10 out of the 70 tube wells operated by the KUKL have been dysfunctional. Besides, long hours of power outage also affect the pumping of groundwater.

KUKL is distributing tankered water in places where the frequency of supply is over two weeks. Private operators sell 50mld water from 700 tankers to households that are not connected by the KUKL pipeline.