Nepal utilizes only 20 percent water available to it

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Mar 16, 2019

Kathmandu,  Although Nepal is rich in water resources and has 7,000 cubic metre water available per person annually, only 20 per cent of it is utilized properly.

The Water and Energy Commission’s Secretariat here organized a press conference to share the facts and figures relating to the water and its resources and how Nepal was going to mark the World Water Day.
World Water Day is an annual observance that falls on March 22, highlighting the importance of the fresh and clean water. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of fresh water resources. The theme for World Water Day 2019 is “Leaving no one behind”.

Nepal is going to mark the World Water Day throughout the country on March22 as well as the Nepal Water Week from March 17 to March 23.

Various programmes will be organized to raise awareness about water and environment during a weeklong celebration, shared Commission’s Joint-Secretary Rishiram Sharma, adding that World Weather Day would be marked on March 23 with an objective to highlight the effects of global warming and environmental degradation.

Sharma informed that the theme for this year’s World Weather Day has been chosen to be ‘My Sun. My Earth and Our Weather.’

It was also shared that although plenty of rainfall occur during the monsoon, Nepal lags behind in harvesting such rainwater. Of the total water utilized, majority of the usage is for irrigation, energy, drinking water and industrial purpose.

Secretary of the Commission Madhav Belbase informed that government was working towards making a master plan for river basin management to carry out concrete works on the availability and utilization of water and its resources.

The Day holds significance only when we could internalize the fact that ‘Water is our lifeline,” argued Belbase.
According to UNICEF, that around 3.5 million people do not have access to basic water services in Nepal. Although ninety-five percent households have access to improved water sources in the country, only 24.4 per cent of water supply systems were properly functioning.

Concerns are growing as only about two percent of all the water on the planet is said to be the freshwater. A large portion of water coming from seas was already contaminated by chemicals, industrials pollutants and unmanaged sewage and fertilizes.

Despite national and international commitments with stringent provisions were put in place to preserve the water sources, lax implementations have caused continuous drying up of the water resources while ground water is depleting rapidly and glaciers melting alarmingly, thereby stoking fear among the people of the dire consequences.

Take Bagmati River and Bishnumati River in the Kathmandu Valley for instance- they, once the pristine rivers- have turned into sludge emanating stench. Furthermore, water sources were being contaminated due to haphazard urbanization and incongruous policies.

It’s high time Nepal, being a Himalayan nation, restored the naturalness of mountains and rivers because the mountains and rivers are the biggest sources of fresh water and surface water respectively.
There are around 6,000 rivers including rivulets and tributaries in Nepal.

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