Nepal faces several water related challenges within its urban and rural areas. Every Drop Matters focused on improving access to drinking water.

Recharge Kathmandu


In Katmandu Valley, many communities are vulnerable to both shortages of water and flooding. With the local stream near empty in the dry months, households must buy water from private suppliers. This EDM project established a team of professionals to support local communities in improve water conservation and rainwater collection, control run-off and recharge groundwater supplies. Together they demonstrated solutions for groundwater recharging at the household, institutional, and community level, including the use of wells and recharge pits that improved water supply for 4,000 people.


  • Set up a 5 person team to support a community mobilization programme
  • Improved total water supply for 4,000 people
  • Formed a water conservation group that constructed retention ponds and erosion control measures
  • Built capacity in water efficiency in local communities
  • Engaged local authorities to provide suitable land for livestock grazing and energy sources for cooking to prevent clearance of forest cover

Title: Invaluable drops-recharge Kathmandu
Implementation period: 2011-2012
Implementing agency: Center for Integrated Urban Development
Location: Kathmandu Valley
Budget: 95,000 USD (EDM: 95,000)

Recharging groundwater


Urban municipal water supplies in Nepal today are only able to meet 30 percent of demand, and both surface- and ground-water resources are already stressed due to overuse.

This project mobilized local communities to construct and test rainwater harvesting and recharge systems to improve local water supply and restore safe groundwater levels in the Katmandu valley and in Lalitpur, Nepal.

Results have been impressive and immediate: for example, a single hospital in Dallu Awas now saves 12,000 litres of tanker supplied water a week, lowering its annual water bill by 900 USD.

In total, 120 water harvesting systems have been constructed in Lalitpur and an additional 17 built in Katmandu. These collect an estimated 28,000 m3 used to recharge groundwater supplies. Building on this success, project partners initiated large public campaigns consisting of workshops, national exhibitions, media articles, nationally broadcast documentaries and doorto- door canvasing in communities to advocate the importance of water, rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge.


  • Mobilized local communities to harvest rainwater and recharge the valley’s groundwater
  • Constructed 120 rainwater harvesting and recharge systems in Lalitpur and 17 in Kathmandu
  • Conducted new research on rainwater harvesting and recharge, wetlands, and on filter media.
  • Mass awareness campaigns, including twenty orientation programmes, new articles, nationally syndicated radio and film documentaries
  • An estimated 28,574 m3 of water is now being harvested for household use and ground-water recharge

Title: Community led water recharge management project
Implementation period: 2012-2013
Implementing agency: Kathmandu City and Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City
Location: Center for Integrated Urban Development
Budget: 115,003 USD (EDM: 99,748 / Co-financing: 14,755)

School WASH


Roughly half of the schools in Bhaktapur lack clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. This EDM project worked to improved water and sanitation facilities in Panachakanya Secondary School to help its 285 students and teacher live, work and study in a safer environment. It also strived to make students part of the solution to raise awareness and activate their communities to build and maintain, safe climate resilient water and sanitation facilities.

Children’s eco-clubs were formed and led by students to organize public and school wide events in conjunction with World Environment Day, Children’s Environment Day, Handwashing Day and the National Sanitation Week.

Further actions were taken to provide training on waste management, including reduction, reuse and recycling of waste, as well as healthy hygiene promotion.

Building upon the experiences gained at Panachakanya Secondary School, a School-Led Climate Resilient WATSAN Guidelines was produced to lead concerted action at schools throughout the country. The guidelines, together with lessons learned from the project successes have been shared and discussed with district and national level authorities.


  • Provided improved and increased access to clean drinking water and sanitation to 285 students and teachers, including the installation of new toilets and drinking water facilities
  • Constructed rainwater harvesting system to increase water storage capacity
  • Established children’s eco-clubs which held student led awareness raising events
  • Provided water management and healthy hygiene training to students and teachers
  • Produced national relevant “School-led Climate Resilient WATSAN Guidelines” than have been disseminated at national and district level workshops

Title: Enhancing climate resilient school WATSAN through child centered interventions
Implementation period: 2013-2014
Implementing agency: Integrated Development Society Nepal
Location: Bhaktapur District
Budget: 49,355 USD (EDM: 43,855 / Co-financing: 5,500)

Disaster Response


The April 2015 earthquake devastated the Northern districts of the Central Development Region of Nepal. The quake had completely destroyed more than 500,000 houses and damaged many more, leaving nearly 9,000 dead and 20,000 injured.

Dry landslides that followed the quake added to the toll as it damaged roads, agriculture land and drinking water systems. An estimated 2.8 million people were in need of humanitarian support as a result of the disaster, and the provision of safe drinking water was among the most critical challenges to victims forced to live in tents or temporary settlements.

The EDM project helped distribute 178 micro-filters and installed 15 reverse osmosis filters to provide clean drinking water to earthquake victims and schools in the Sindhupalchok and Dolkha districts where the settlements are widely dispersed. It also trained 650 people to properly use the filters, including at least from each household served. This increased safe drinking water availability to 250 households, 20 communities and 2,360 people.


  • Trained 650 people (at least one from each household) oriented/trained on how to properly utilize the water filters
  • Procured and disseminated 178 micro water filters
  • Installed 15 Reverse osmosis water filters
  • Increased safe drinking water availability in 250 Earthquake victim households, 20 communities and for 2,360 people

Title: Safe Drinking Water to Earthquake Victims

Implementation period: 2015-2016
Implementing agency: UNDP Nepal
Location: Sindhupalchok and Dolkha districts
Budget: 20,000 USD (EDM: 20,000)

Harmful hydrams


The EDM project in Kavrepalanchowk district piloted a hydraulic ram pump (hydram) technology. Through the installation of this technology, EDM has helped the communities within Dhungkharka, Balthali, Dhukharak, and Sankhu abstract water for water sources which lay lower than their land, providing access to drinking and irrigation water.

The installed hydram systems lifts approximately 135,360 liters of water per day, directly benefitting more than 700 people that now have a reliable drinking water source that reaches their household. This increase in available water for irrigation has enabled communities to irrigate new farm land, using sprinkler systems to grow high value crops.

In this pilot, farmers built 13 poly-tunnels, used for growing tomatoes, each of which can yield approximately 250 kg of produce per harvest. There is a large scope and proven value to scale-up the hydram project in Kavrepalanchowk district and replicate it in similar communities across Nepal.

With the demonstrated effectiveness of the hydram installation, there should be several means for communities to access financing from local government agencies or micro-financing institutes that provide loans for rural communities to finance the technology. This would help contribute to more sustainable rural development in the region.


  • Installed hydram systems to that increase access to approximately 135,360 liters of water per day and serve 703 people
  • Supported the construction of 47 toilets and rehabilitation of 18 dilapidated systems.
  • Enabled communities to irrigate 7.9 hectares of farm land, using sprinkler systems to grow high value crops.
  • Built 13 poly-tunnels, for tomatoes growing that yield approximately 250 kg of tomatoes per harvest (500 kg per year).
  • Working directly with the local communities, the project capacitated them on the repair and maintenance of the installed technologies

Title: Livelihood Enhancement through Hydraulic Ram Pump in Kavrepalanchok District
Implementation period: 2013-2014
Implementing agency: Centre for Rural Technology
Location: Kavrepalanchok District
Budget: 67,028 USD (EDM: 60,845 / Co-financing: 16,183)

Lifting water


Availability of water is crucial to improve rural livelihoods in the mountain regions of Nepal. A majority of farmers in the hills and mountains grow only one crop and leave their lands barren for most of the year as this is all that can be supported with current practices that depend on rainfall and gravity irrigation systems.

While there is plenty of water in the rivers and rivulets that could be lifted to irrigate the barren land to grow three cycles of high value crops, and also provide drinking and household uses, a lack of electricity, proper technologies and awareness on possible solutions impede farmers from access it.

The EDM project demonstrated a solution by installing four micro hydro-operated systems and one solar power operated lift irrigation system in different villages of Dhading district. The installed systems pump water uphill to settlements and store it in large tanks.

The collected water is then distributed through networks of pipes and distribution tanks for drinking, micro irrigation and other household uses. Altogether the project has provided water to 163 households, with 815 people and helped them spend significantly less time collecting water.

Farmers have already initiated planning for vegetable farming during the dry season and have received additional training on farming, marketing and preparation of agricultural plans.


  • Installed four micro hydro-operated lift irrigation systems and one solar power operated lift irrigation system in villages
  • Provided water to 163 households, totaling 815 people
  • Decreased water collection time and burden, particularly for women and children
  • Enabled and provided training vegetable farming during the dry season, improving rural livelihoods

Title: Micro Hydro Operated Lift Irrigation in Nepal
Implementation period: 2015-2016
Implementing agency: Committed Society for Change Nepal
Location: Dhading District
Budget: 123,759 USD (EDM: 63,759 / Co-financing: 77,000)

Partners and contributors

  • UNDP Nepal
  • Center for Integrated Urban Development
  • Integrated Development Society Nepal
  • Centre for Rural Technology Committed Society for Change Nepal
  • Community of Kathmandu
  • Community of Lalitpur
  • Ghatta Owners Association Water User Community – Ladku Chanatue
  • Water User Community – Balthali
  • Water User Community – Dhunkharka Water User Community – Sankhu
  • Alternative Energy Promotion Centre
  • Korean Development Aid