February 15, 2017
On February 15, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to provide grant aid of up to 4.813 billion yen for the Project for Improvement of Water Supply in Pokhara.
This project will provide water treatment facilities, distribution pipes, reservoirs, water meters along with other related facilities.
Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal with a population of 250,000 people (2011), and is the most important tourism city in the country, receiving approximately 230,000 tourists each year (2010). Despite this large population, there are currently no water treatment plants in Pokhara, and the distribution pipes in place are deteriorating and are not installed at ideal locations, causing challenges in managing the water quality and supply frequency. The tap water quality in terms of turbidity peaks at 50 nephelometric turbidity units (NTUs) or more in 54 percent of homes, greatly exceeding Nepal’s drinking water standard of 5 NTUs, and such elevated NTU levels may last for upwards of 50 days during the rainy season. Escherichia coli (E. coli) has been detected in 98 percent of households in the area. Although the tap water coverage rate is 96 percent in the Pokhara supply area, only 21 percent of residents receive water seven days a week, and 23 percent receive water services only one day a week. As such, rectifying the inequitable frequency of water supply is an important challenge.
This project will install a water treatment plant and intake, transmission and distribution pipes as well as improving the current water supply facilities with the objectives of meeting the drinking water quality standards of Nepal in terms of turbidity and chlorine content at the target water supply area, and supplying all target households with water seven days a week. At the same time, the project will reduce water leakage, adjust the water supply pressure, reduce the unaccounted water (non-revenue water) ratio and take other measures to increase the collection rate of water tariffs and improve the operation system. These measures are expected to improve the water supply services overall that are overseen in the target area by the Pokhara branch of the Nepal Water Supply Corporation.
In addition to this project, JICA has carried out the Project for Capacity Development on Water Supply in Semi-urban Areas in Nepal (2010–2013), a technical cooperation project, and other projects in the field of water supply in Nepal and has recently dispatched a water policy advisor to support the improvements of the urban environment in Nepal.