Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Exposure visit to Filtration plants at Sidhipur and Sainbu Panipokhari

After a daylong visit to water treatment plant at Dhulikhel, Lubhu team participated in exposure visits to water treatment plants at Sidhipur and Sainbu Panipokhari, Sainbu as a continuity to the capacity building on different techniques on water treatment on December 25, 2011under the facilitation of peri-urban research team at Nepal Engineering College. A total of 22 participants (6 females and 16 males) participated in the visit. 

The water source for Sidhipur is also a river and has boulder filled intake constructed 3km away from the filtration tank. Mr. Krishna Kumar Maharjan and the technician Mr. Rabi Kumar Maharjan from Sidhipur Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Committee (SDWSSC) facilitated the participants briefing them both the management and the technical parts. The Sidhipur DWSSC was initiated in 2028 B.S (1971 A.D) and 52 public taps were operated under the local initiation through ground water supply. It was in 2051/52 B.S (1994/1995 A.D), when epidemics of water borne disease out broke in the area and the need of filtration plant was seriously considered. Along with the practice of SODIS and Chlorination under the promotion of ENPHO- an NGO, the socially active local people simultaneously started getting self-mobilized for the arrangement of funding organization. The INGOs including Water AID, Rotary club and UN-Habitat showed interest in supporting the water management project in Sidhipur and ultimately the project initiated under the support of UN-Habitat at an financial support of around 20 millions however the clause laid was the area and labour has to be managed by local. Filtration tank was constructed in 2062 B.S (2005 A.D) and completed in almost 2 and half years due to the political turmoil of then. Currently, Sidhipur DWSSC been supplying water through 1088 private taps and 270 new taps are under demand. The water treatment plant has been constructed with 20 years design period and stands on premises of 2 ropani 4 aanas (12320 Sq. ft). Two reservoir tanks of 2.5 lakh litres and 50,000 litres have been constructed but have not yet been under function. 

It has been administratively managed through 35 member broad committee and 11 member management committee and 3 technicians (1plumber and 2 assistant plumbers). The facilitator Mr. Krishna Kumar Maharjan explained the involvement of local labor and monitoring though joint involvement of funding organization, local committee and involved engineers have been means in maintaining the cost effectiveness and transparency to gain trust and support from local inhabitants and political bodies. He further recalled the perseverant efforts made by the water resource committee to arrange for the funding and then meeting the clauses laid by them; suggesting the participants from Lubhu to be self mobilized for solving their water woes. Sidhipur DWSSC has been currently serving only the private taps and Rs.9000/- tap is being collected as installation cost for the local people while Rs.20,000/- tap for immigrants. It has been following a strict graded tariff system and charging Rs.50/- for 7 units as minimum charge (1unit=1000 litres), at the rate of Rs. 12/unit for 8-10 units, Rs. 15 per unit for 11-15 units and Rs.20 per unit for consumption above 15 units. 

Regarding the technical designing of Sidhipur water treatment plant, water has been passed from intake to 3 filtration tanks, starting from tube settler to slow sand filter and chlorinated through dropping method at the rate of 350ml/min prior to the distribution of water to public. The slow sand filter consists of vertical layering of gravels of 30cm, overlaid by chips of 40 cm and washed sand of 1m height and using electric pump of 7.5 Hp. The tube settler consisted of frame of GI-pipes of 30cm height inclined at 60 degrees to the base. As per the resource persons, the daily report of residual chlorine in chlorinated water prior to distribution and at the last household has been showing good results to confirm water free from bacterial contamination. The treatment plant has to be technically cleaned in every 2 years but due to high turbidity condition of their source, this rate has been much higher as much as 3-4 times per year in their case. 

Extractable water yield currently in this source is 6-6.5 l/sec and has been supplying 24 hours water service daily. This water supply has been jointly supported by Department of Water Supply and Sewerage and ENPHO in daily monitoring the water quality and the supply has been facilitated with all laboratory services and offered the Lubhu team to provide the necessary help in testing their water quality. As per the facilitators the consumer's satisfaction rate has been good except during rainy seasons. As this scheme has been lacking of the sedimentation tanks, very limited water is supplied during rainy season or even ceased for almost a week until the intake be cleaned manually. The facilitators shared this as a weak point of the system and considered the limited knowledge among the local people and the application of the theoretical knowledge with less consideration to the practical situation by the engineers as a cause of the current problem. The Sidhipur teams have been working for managing the resources for the construction of sedimentation tank to provide uninterruptable year round water supply in the area. 

Mr. Krishna Kumar Maharjan shared about their visits prior to operation of their project and considered the visit of Lubhu as a need based visit and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity in solving their problem. He also showed willingness in sharing the details designs and cost breakdown in constructing different infrastructures which the Lubhu team will definitely have to adopt as per the current market situation and their resource strengths. 

In the second half of the day, the exhibition team headed towards Sainbu Panipokhari water treatment plant at Bhaisepati. Engineers Mr. Ram Krishna Karki and Mr. Ram Mani Bogati shared the historical background of the water supply. This was a large scale project monitored from Government of Nepal. It has been tapping water from spring source, feeding water to Pharping Hydropower of 450kW, as a major water supplier serving Lalitpur district after the mentioned power supply got closed in 2037 B.S. (1980 A.D) and from a holy pond Seshnarayan in Pharping. Both sources being spring source, water has been highly preferred by the consumers and water treatment plant was installed only after 2045 B.S. (1988 A.D). This treatment plant included roughing filter to remove the suspended particles and chlorination for bacterial disinfection. This is a part of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL), the water utility of Kathmandu valley and with reservoirs of 5.4 million litres, it has been supplying water to the major section of Lalitpur district since 2037 B.S., treated water from 2045 B.S. 

The participants from Lubhu considered Sidhipur water supply as a common to their need and vision and consulted the facilitators from the second site to suggest for additional water treatment plants that is comparable to Lubhu. Mr. Ram Krishna Karki with his familiarity to the situations at Lubhu suggested on considering the feasibility study of the Deep boring (265m ) done by Kathmandu Valley Town Development committee as an alternative. This was discarded by Town Development Committee about 15 years back due to high sand concentration. He proposed using the modern technique of compressor filter to test the feasibility of water and suggested in case of positive result could serve as long term water source. However, as per him the cost involved would be around o.1 million, therefore the willingness among the participants to undertake the test was considerably low. Mr. Ram Bahadur Shrestha, Chairperson of Lubhu water resource committee has shown interest in making the necessary follow up for the alternative source and the final decisions is yet to come. 

With good understanding of the past and present situations of the neighboring Sidhipur VDC, understanding the consumer's perspectives and challenges incurred can be expected to be practically helpful for the Lubhu people. Having rapport built with the facilitators from Sidhipur and Sainbu Water Treatment plants, the Lubhu team will be consulting the resource persons for further information.

Peer Group Interaction

Exposure Visit to Water Treatment Plant of Dhulikhel Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Committee, Dhulilkhel 
(December 17, 2011)

A day long exhibition to Water Treatment Plant at Dhulikhel was conducted to expose the people to the necessary arrangements, technical expertise and the management approaches to strengthen the community based water management initiative led by the Lubhu Drinking Water and Sanitation Committee of Lubhu. The members from Committee enthusiastically participated in the programme since the programme was demanded and scheduled by themselves. The facilitator was the Chief Executive officer of the Dhulikhel Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Committee (DWSSC) Mr. Rameshwor Parajuli.

Dhulikhel DWSSC was established as a joint venture of Nepal Government, the Federal Republic of Germany and local people of Dhulikhel on December 5, 1997. It has been diverting water from spring source of Khar Khola River, about 14 kms far away in the Kalanti Bhumi Danda VDC. The water from the spring source has been diverted through the intake into the reservation tank from where it has been further passed for the treatments (primary, secondary and ultimately for chlorination prior to the distribution through pipe lines. This Dhulikhel water supply service can be considered as an example not only in terms of the technical arrangements but also in terms of establishment of institutional set up for its sustainability. Despite financial security from a joint venture, its institutional growth has involved various ups and downs, the understandings and unity has succeeded in overcoming the challenges to gain the current image of success story. This phase has included various incidents that have been a lesson learning phase for the people of Dhulikhel. These were briefly shared to the participants from Lubhu to enhance their management skills. 

The installation of filtration tank for water diverted from Dovan khola has been considered as the only practical long term solution for water woes at Lubhu. The case of Dhulikhel Water Supply is similar to the project envisioned by Lubhu therefore has been expected to be fruitful to them. The major objective of the visit was to expose the people of Lubhu to water treatment plant, improve their understanding on the basics behind the system and stimulate their activities to replicate such a system with necessary modifications. 

The facilitator from the Dhulikhel DWSSC provided the consultation in two different thematic sections, one being in the technical arrangements and the second on the institutional and administrative arrangements. The major point highlighted by the facilitator was the need of preplanning of the management set ups, both the technical and the administrative section prior to the actual operation of the project and team work for the successful continuation of project.

The technical designing in Dhilikhel scheme was supported by international expert teams in addition to local effort including German Aid and Japanese expertise. The knowledge gained during the operation of the technical part and the problems that appeared and approaches made for solution were shared with the participants to enable them to avoid repeating mistakes of Dhulikhel schemes and escape the avoidable loss. This one day visit was obviously not enough to get into all the technical details but as expected has generated the enthusiasm and interest in working towards their project which could be interpreted through the local interest in exploring for donors and funding organizations for possible supports. This visit has further been fruitful in building rapport between the two parties for the further consultations. The technicians of the Local water resource committee will be revisiting the sites for further consultation in near future. 

The intangible arrangement for the institutional set up can be considered no less complicated. However, after the resolution of the water induced conflict few years back, Dhulikhel DWSSC has been currently functioned through 15 member committee. The committee members have been elected by the consumers on the "One tap one Vote" basis where each of the consumer household cast one Vote per household and are functional for consecutive 4 years. Among the members elected, 9 members have to be from the core settlement which was the initial target group of the project, 5 members from the recently expanding settlements and one technician who has been officially engaged on a full time service basis. The water service has been following a graded tariff system (minimum charge is Rs. 125/-per month, 10-25 units cost Rs. 14 /- per unit, 26 – 50 units cost Rs 22/- per unit and >50 units cost Rs 57/- per unit; 1 unit=1000 litres of water). Mr. Parajulee stressed on the value of water as an economic goods and the need of charging water to avoid the water wastage wherein he emphasized the need of graded tariff to maintain the equity on the service provided and currently has reached 1752 households and has further 21 community taps.

He further stressed on the need of strict monitoring of the tariff to overcome the free riding of water service, a customarily acknowledged problem in water supply. As that suggested during Godawari site visit, Mr. Parajulee criticized the practice of public taps as a cause of water wastage and suggested in the direction of replacing the public and community taps through private taps. Additionally he shared the pathway for the mentioned replacement by creating a provision of making payment of the household water network extension in installment basis as a support for underprivileged households.

As the Lubhu inhabitants are in the process of entering into a new phase of water management, Mr. Parajulee suggested to set up a properly planned and monitored code of conduct from the initial phase to make it well established in the long run and further shade light on the need of renovating the technical structures on a timely basis for its effective durability. The participants from Lubhu showed greater inclination towards estimating the cost approximate involved thereby understanding their status in financial arrangements, addressing which the resource person, Mr. Parajulee showed interest in providing technical help in understanding the cost involved further suggesting to adopt cost efficient and more effective innovative techniques. He also elaborated the need of understanding the site specific geology and the environmental conditions giving the examples of modifications in the engineering designs performed by various community based drinking water schemes operating in different areas of the nation and suggested to understand the conditions of Lubhu and generously offered help in case of any need of revisiting the designs which has been complete by the technical team of Lubhu. These experiences shared have been counted valuable guidance by the participants and a copy of annual report of Dhulikhel Water Supply with details about the water supply provided to each of the participants which has been expected to provide further information about the project.

With the opportunity of observing different processes of the water treatment plant, getting to interact with the veteran technician of Dhulikhel water supply and with assurance of providing the possible technical help for the most prioritized problem of Lubhu, the participants considered the visit highly productive.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Training Program on Climate Change

A two-day Training Program on ‘Climate Change’ was held at CSS Ava Center, Khulna during November 23-24, 2011. This training program has been conducted as a part of our ongoing research project ‘Water Security in Peri-Urban South Asia: Adapting to Climate Change and Urbanization’. The Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is conducting this action research in Khulna in collaboration with Khulna University and the Institute of Livelihoods Studies. This training has been conducted to develop institutional capacity in understanding the climate change issues and adaptation needed in the water sector in Khulna. This training program was designed after a detail need assessment and stakeholder consultation in project sites.  

Day 1
Professor Dr. M. Shah Alam Khan (Project Leader, Peri-Urban Project) and Professor Dr. Rezaur Rahman (Coordinator, Climate Change Training) delivered the inaugural speech of the 2-day training program on Climate Change. Prof. Khan provided a brief background and expectation of the training program. After describing the aims and objectives of the training program, Prof. Rahman outlined the structure of the training program in a logical sequence. In this the training program 26 participants were attended from NGOs, GOs and education institute of Khulna.  

Dr. Md. Rezaur Rahman, Professor, IWFM, BUET conducted the first session. The session was basically on the scientific understanding of climate change. However, as a response to the queries of the diversified participants, the discussion was extended to cover a wide range of issues including mitigation, adaptation and the impacts. General inquiry of the participants in this session was the availability and reliability of long term historic data on climate change specifically for Bangladesh. Some indications of climate change at local level were also pointed out in the session. It was agreed that the prevailing problems in the southwest region (e.g., salinity intrusion) will be exaggerated due to the impact of climate change. The debate on the conservation of the Sundarbans in the context of global carbon negotiation was also raised.

Fig. 1:  Dr. M. Shahjahan Mondal delivering his speech in the CC Training in Khulna
At the 2nd session of Day 1, Dr. M. Shahjahan Mondal, Associate Professor, IWFM, BUET presented the observed hydro-meteorological trends in southwest (SW) coastal region of Bangladesh. Starting with the understanding and statistical definition of trend analysis, Dr. Mondal sequentially discussed the observed trends in temperature, rainfall, sunshine, humidity and tidal water levels in SW region. He tried to facilitate the brainstorming process of the participants in validating the observed trend with their daily and job experiences. Interestingly some trends (e.g., decreased sunshine duration) were quickly recognized by the participants. Relationship between the Gorai river flow and salinity in Rupsha river was also reported. At the end discussion some participants expressed their eagerness to know the Gorai river system for better understanding the process. This feedback was readily accepted and incorporated in the next more relevant session.

The third session, conducted by Dr. Dilip Kumar Datta, Professor and Head, Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, was focused on the attribution of anthropogenic reasons for observed changes in the SW region. Recognizing the necessity for human intervention to the natural processes Prof. Datta emphasized on the limit to such interventions for sustainable development. After a comprehensive presentation of the physiographic, geomorphologic and geologic features of the SW region he explained the anthropogenic causes (e.g., changes in the land use pattern, Coastal Embankment Project, Farakka barrage etc.) of changes in natural system. The session ended with a lively discussion on various pertinent issues including possibility of reverse development, extent of salinity intrusion, priority of climate change over others, scope of tidal river management, alternative of capital dredging etc.

The last session of Day 1 on Climate Change Adaptation in the Southwest Coastal Region was conducted by Mrs. Umme Kulsum, Programme Coordinator, IFLS Project, CAFOD. Mrs. Kulsum basically discussed the major ways of planned adaptation by different sectors focusing on the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh. She emphasized the need for promoting spontaneous response under planned adaptation. Areas of inquiry of the participants in this session include sustainability of adaptation program, adaptation financing, cost benefit assessment, peri-urban concern etc.  

Day 2:
Prof. Shah Alam Khan conducted the first session of day-2. Prof. Kahn discussed the topic, the global water supply status, impact of climate change on water resources and utilities, analytical framework and adaptation framework. In his lecture Prof. Khan also discussed the impact of climate change in the regional context of Khulna. According to Prof. Khan the fundamental challenges on water utilities are: urbanization pressure, outdated Infrastructure, competition for water resources. Prof. Khan suggested the following monitoring system for better adaptation with the changing environment.
§  Climate Monitoring,
§  Water Availability,
§  Water Quality, and
§  Water Distribution.   

Engr. S. M. Jaglul Haider, Deputy Managing Director of KWASA conducted the 2nd session of Day 2, and discussed the present situation and future adaptation strategies of KWASA in Khulna. At the beginning he discussed a brief overview of KWASA and said that Khulna is highly vulnerable to climate change impact. Eng. Haider claims that the salinity has been started to rise after the commencement of Farakka Barrage by India in 1975. In future, salinity intrusion from the Bay of Bengal is also expected to alter the surface and groundwater hydrology of Khulna with daily, seasonal and annual variation in water quality. To adapt the situation KWASA is the pioneer to develop climate resilience water supply infrastructures in Khulna. Construction of alternative water source is the highest priority in Khulna. To meet the present and future water demand, KWASA is now implementing a surface water based water supply project in Khulna, in which the river Modhumoti will be used as a water source.  In the discussion session trainee were asked several question regarding the water quality, quantity and sustainability of the implementing project. In answer, DMD said that this project has been initiated after detail study which is feasible and have long term sustainability to face the present and future demand of water supply in Khulna.

Prof. Shafuil Islam of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) talked about the adaptation in rural water supply in the southwest costal region of Bangladesh. At the initial discussion point Prof. Islam talked about the importance of adaptation in rural water supply in Khulna and its periphery. According to Prof. Islam, Community Based Adaptation (CBA) would be best option in rural water supply for the coastal people of Bangladesh. He said that an effective CBA requires an integrated approach that would combine both the traditional knowledge and innovative strategies to address the current vulnerabilities and future adaptation to climate change in this region. CBA also help to protect and sustain the ecosystem that is important for livelihoods of the coastal people.    

The last lecture was conducted by Dr. A. K. M. Saiful Islam, Associate Professor, IWFM, BUET. He discussed the following agenda in his lecture part:
§  Responsibility and GHG Emission Scenarios
§  Kyoto Protocol  (COP1 to COP7)
§  The Bali Action Plan (COP 13) in 2007
§  The Copenhagen Accord (COP15) in 2009
§  The Cancun Agreements  (COP16) in 2010
§  Durban Conference  (COP 17) in 2011
§  Bangladesh Position  

In the discussion session, Dr. Islam said that although Bangladesh emit negligible amount of GHGs in the global emission, but it’s a reality that we have to play responsible role in both mitigation and adaptation phases of climate chnage. Dr. Islam also discussed how international negotiation takes place in an international meeting such as the COP. He said in such a big international platform our country representatives or policy makers have very limited scope to discuss a long time for their own country. However, I believe that they always try their best to protect our national interest.  

The final discussion session was on the Peri-Urban Project conducted by Dr. Hamidul Huq. In this session Dr. Huq discussed a brief overview of Peri-Urban Project and the research findings that we had till the date. An evaluation session was also carried out after the discussion points of Dr. Hamidul huq to find the feedback of the climate change training from the participants.

The certificate awarding ceremony of the two days training on climate change held at the CSS Ava Training Center. Honorable Panel Mayor-1 Mr. Azmol Hossain Tapon was the chief guest and Prof. M. Shah Alam Khan chaired the session. Honorable Mayor warmly welcomes to the resources persons of the training program with a special thanks to IWFM, BUET. He also welcome to the organization and agencies those were involved in the training program. A closing dinner of the training program was held at the Hotel Royal International located at the center of KCC. Around 45 invited guests attend this dinner program at Royal. In this the dinner Vice-Chancellor of KU and KUET, DMD of WASA, University faculty, civil society representatives, NGO professionals were attended.

Fig.  2: Group Photo of the participants in the Training Program.