The information and evidence underpinning this policy brief is based on five years of field research conducted between 2014-2019. Data were collected through a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The field research started with inception meetings with city-level officials and community leaders to explain the purpose of the research and seek their cooperation in 2014. In the next step, the authors conducted a geographic mapping of 31 community water users committees and key informant interviews to understand and document the history and their institutional arrangements for water management.
They surveyed 32 visitors at Rawal Dhara spring to understand their use and dependencies on the local spring along with structured observation to examine the frequency of people visiting the spring to collect water. The authors also conducted a household survey to understand the coping mechanisms of individual houses after the 2015 earthquake, and undertook some participatory research activities, such as co-organising water forums with the municipalities in 2019.
In this policy brief, part of the Policy Perspectives: Water and Development in Southasia series, the authors suggest that a mixed approach of large and small water supply schemes is the most resilient solution for the water security of Himalayan towns that are exposed to a high risk of disasters.
- Municipalities need urgent technical support in water security planning
- Large water supply systems are important but are also susceptible to risks like landslides
- To enhance water security, multiple strategies of water supply led by community groups,
- households, private groups, and government are necessary
- City-level multi-stakeholder water forums are necessary, supported by action research