Impact of the April 25 earthquake on local water sources has begun to appear in the Kathmandu valley. The increased discharge in the local water spouts following the earthquake and the joy it brought to the people in a locality in Katunje in Bhaktapur didn’t last for more than 3 weeks. The Tin Dhara (three spouts in Nepali) of Katunje village had increased water discharge after the earthquake, but the discharge declined rapidly and the spouts dried after the strong aftershock of May 12.
One of the three spouts (seen in the picture) is barely flowing with a discharge of about 2 liters per minute. Women from around the village gather to collect water which they use for drinking purpose. About 50 households, who do have VDC built piped water connection to their houses depend on this dying spout, because the water in the tap is murky and therefore not suitable for drinking. People come here to collect water, because they they can drink this water without filtering let alone boiling.
And there is another spout in the next valley (seen in the picture below), which had dried for the last three years but, started to flow after the quake. Amazingly the discharge in this spout is at least 20 liter per minutes – 10 times more than the dying spout of Tin Dhara.
The earthquake has significantly changed the water cycle in these small watersheds. What are the changes and how permanent are they can only be assessed in the next winter. Hope these preliminary measurements will provide an important benchmark for Katunje.
Monitoring the discharge in local water sources where changes have been seen within the EQ affected area would provide crucial information for water scientists to evaluate EQ impact on water cycle, and for water managers to mitigate water problems.
With Irene’s support