Wastewater irrigation in the developing world-Two case studies from the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal

Thomas Rutkowski, Liqa Raschid-Sally, Stephanie J Buechler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wastewater irrigation in the Kathmandu Valley is a widespread but poorly documented practice. This paper presents data from two case study sites, the Kirtipur and Bhaktapur municipalities of the Kathmandu Valley. An overview of existing urban wastewater disposal infrastructure, wastewater agriculture practices and quality of water used, the health implications of these practices and the level of institutional awareness of wastewater related issues are presented and compared with wastewater irrigation in other regions of the world where irrigation with wastewater is practiced. Data for the analyses on agricultural practices and health implications were obtained from a sample of 109 farmers using wastewater within the two municipalities. Bhaktapur typified direct utilization of wastewater by pumping from sewers whereas Kirtipur farmers used it indirectly by gravity flow from polluted rivers. Central to the discussion is that farmers here do not always choose to use wastewater but exploit its benefits when obliged to do so. Since the wastewater also changes the hydrology of the watercourse rendering it perennial, many farmers see the benefit of utilizing the resource. The negative attitude of some farmers towards wastewater stemmed from their inability to control wastewater application leading to flooding and loss of crops. The majority of farmers are well aware of negative health impacts particularly those related to skin infections, and they attempt to protect themselves through washing. No change in water quality can be expected without infrastructure investments and wastewater management changes, which are slow in coming due to the lack of institutional awareness about the complexity of the problem. Interaction amongst the various stakeholders through a formalized mechanism, to influence the disposal and reuse of wastewater is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Volume88
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2007

Fingerprint

wastewater irrigation
Nepal
wastewater
valleys
developing world
irrigation
case studies
valley
farmers
infrastructure
water quality
farmers' attitudes
flood irrigation
crop losses
rendering
gravity flow
health impact
gravity
stakeholders
agricultural practice

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Farmer perceptions
  • Health impacts
  • Kathmandu Valley
  • Wastewater
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Wastewater irrigation in the developing world-Two case studies from the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. / Rutkowski, Thomas; Raschid-Sally, Liqa; Buechler, Stephanie J.

In: Agricultural Water Management, Vol. 88, No. 1-3, 16.03.2007, p. 83-91.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{4435ec2c9f64468d83cb5bc19c5deb9f,
title = "Wastewater irrigation in the developing world-Two case studies from the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal",
abstract = "Wastewater irrigation in the Kathmandu Valley is a widespread but poorly documented practice. This paper presents data from two case study sites, the Kirtipur and Bhaktapur municipalities of the Kathmandu Valley. An overview of existing urban wastewater disposal infrastructure, wastewater agriculture practices and quality of water used, the health implications of these practices and the level of institutional awareness of wastewater related issues are presented and compared with wastewater irrigation in other regions of the world where irrigation with wastewater is practiced. Data for the analyses on agricultural practices and health implications were obtained from a sample of 109 farmers using wastewater within the two municipalities. Bhaktapur typified direct utilization of wastewater by pumping from sewers whereas Kirtipur farmers used it indirectly by gravity flow from polluted rivers. Central to the discussion is that farmers here do not always choose to use wastewater but exploit its benefits when obliged to do so. Since the wastewater also changes the hydrology of the watercourse rendering it perennial, many farmers see the benefit of utilizing the resource. The negative attitude of some farmers towards wastewater stemmed from their inability to control wastewater application leading to flooding and loss of crops. The majority of farmers are well aware of negative health impacts particularly those related to skin infections, and they attempt to protect themselves through washing. No change in water quality can be expected without infrastructure investments and wastewater management changes, which are slow in coming due to the lack of institutional awareness about the complexity of the problem. Interaction amongst the various stakeholders through a formalized mechanism, to influence the disposal and reuse of wastewater is suggested.",
keywords = "Agriculture, Farmer perceptions, Health impacts, Kathmandu Valley, Wastewater, Water quality",
author = "Thomas Rutkowski and Liqa Raschid-Sally and Buechler, {Stephanie J}",
year = "2007",
month = "3",
day = "16",
doi = "10.1016/j.agwat.2006.08.012",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "88",
pages = "83--91",
journal = "Agricultural Water Management",
issn = "0378-3774",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1-3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Wastewater irrigation in the developing world-Two case studies from the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal

AU - Rutkowski, Thomas

AU - Raschid-Sally, Liqa

AU - Buechler, Stephanie J

PY - 2007/3/16

Y1 - 2007/3/16

N2 - Wastewater irrigation in the Kathmandu Valley is a widespread but poorly documented practice. This paper presents data from two case study sites, the Kirtipur and Bhaktapur municipalities of the Kathmandu Valley. An overview of existing urban wastewater disposal infrastructure, wastewater agriculture practices and quality of water used, the health implications of these practices and the level of institutional awareness of wastewater related issues are presented and compared with wastewater irrigation in other regions of the world where irrigation with wastewater is practiced. Data for the analyses on agricultural practices and health implications were obtained from a sample of 109 farmers using wastewater within the two municipalities. Bhaktapur typified direct utilization of wastewater by pumping from sewers whereas Kirtipur farmers used it indirectly by gravity flow from polluted rivers. Central to the discussion is that farmers here do not always choose to use wastewater but exploit its benefits when obliged to do so. Since the wastewater also changes the hydrology of the watercourse rendering it perennial, many farmers see the benefit of utilizing the resource. The negative attitude of some farmers towards wastewater stemmed from their inability to control wastewater application leading to flooding and loss of crops. The majority of farmers are well aware of negative health impacts particularly those related to skin infections, and they attempt to protect themselves through washing. No change in water quality can be expected without infrastructure investments and wastewater management changes, which are slow in coming due to the lack of institutional awareness about the complexity of the problem. Interaction amongst the various stakeholders through a formalized mechanism, to influence the disposal and reuse of wastewater is suggested.

AB - Wastewater irrigation in the Kathmandu Valley is a widespread but poorly documented practice. This paper presents data from two case study sites, the Kirtipur and Bhaktapur municipalities of the Kathmandu Valley. An overview of existing urban wastewater disposal infrastructure, wastewater agriculture practices and quality of water used, the health implications of these practices and the level of institutional awareness of wastewater related issues are presented and compared with wastewater irrigation in other regions of the world where irrigation with wastewater is practiced. Data for the analyses on agricultural practices and health implications were obtained from a sample of 109 farmers using wastewater within the two municipalities. Bhaktapur typified direct utilization of wastewater by pumping from sewers whereas Kirtipur farmers used it indirectly by gravity flow from polluted rivers. Central to the discussion is that farmers here do not always choose to use wastewater but exploit its benefits when obliged to do so. Since the wastewater also changes the hydrology of the watercourse rendering it perennial, many farmers see the benefit of utilizing the resource. The negative attitude of some farmers towards wastewater stemmed from their inability to control wastewater application leading to flooding and loss of crops. The majority of farmers are well aware of negative health impacts particularly those related to skin infections, and they attempt to protect themselves through washing. No change in water quality can be expected without infrastructure investments and wastewater management changes, which are slow in coming due to the lack of institutional awareness about the complexity of the problem. Interaction amongst the various stakeholders through a formalized mechanism, to influence the disposal and reuse of wastewater is suggested.

KW - Agriculture

KW - Farmer perceptions

KW - Health impacts

KW - Kathmandu Valley

KW - Wastewater

KW - Water quality

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33846398508&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33846398508&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.agwat.2006.08.012

DO - 10.1016/j.agwat.2006.08.012

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33846398508

VL - 88

SP - 83

EP - 91

JO - Agricultural Water Management

JF - Agricultural Water Management

SN - 0378-3774

IS - 1-3

ER -