Spring and Water Source Assessment in Selected Local Governments across Watersheds of Karnali River Basin


The consortium led by ISET Nepal, with Kathmandu University’s Aquatic Ecology Centre (AEC), and Hydro Lab Pvt. Ltd. in collaboration with two local organizations and financial support from the USAID Karnali Water Activity, undertook a project titled “Spring and Water Source Assessment (SSA) in selected Local Governments (LGs) across Watersheds of Karnali River Basin.” The project assessed the spring water sources of 29 Local Governments (LGs) from the Karnali Basin’s four watersheds: Rara Khatyad, Tila Karnali, Middle Karnali, and Lower Karnali. Local enumerators from these watersheds were trained and mobilized for the SSA. The trained local enumerators conducted community-level consultations, visited each spring, gathered data (e.g., GPS, discharge, stressors identification, and ranking) at the field level, and collected spring data and water samples for laboratory analysis. Ten stressors (e.g., waste dumping, livestock grazing, sewage mixing, etc.) were scored to categorize the springs into three classes: good condition, moderately affected, and severely affected.


Altogether, 6646 spring sources were identified, of which 89 had dried. A detailed hydrogeological investigation is required to determine the causes of drying. The results showed that 17.39% of the sources were in good condition, 79.66% were moderately affected, and 2.95% were severely affected. Similarly, based on the Water Quality Index, 85.16%, 13.89%, 0.61%, 0.14%, and 0.198% of sources were categorized as excellent, good, poor, very poor, and unsuitable categories, respectively. Based on the microbial analysis, 84.66 %, 10.05%, 5.07%, and 0.21% of sources were categorized as safe, intermediate risk, high risk, and very high risk, respectively. The recommended measures to be taken to improve the sources’ status and water quality have also been provided. Monitoring mechanisms and conservation efforts at the LG level would help to improve and maintain these sources’ conditions and water quality.