Public-Private partnerships to promote innovative solutions for water recharge
KAROBAR CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, Jun 30, 2018
279

The Coca-Cola Foundation and the Coca-Cola system in Nepal have partnered with a variety of actors to promote innovative solutions for water.
The Coca-Cola Foundation along with its partners are helping to tackle Nepal’s most pressing environmental challenges and to integrate the value of nature into decision-making processes, and convene influential partners to solve global environmental challenges. These partnerships do more than mobilize more resources and deliver extraordinary outcomes in challenging places. Such partnerships involve financial and in-kind commitments from public-private sectors such as corporations or foundations to enhance public development projects, reads a press note from Coke.
With rapid climatic changes, increase in global temperature and population growth, there is a scarcity of potable water in many countries across the world, it said, adding that rainwater harvesting is best described as the technique by which rain water is accumulated and stored with the intention of reusing it during the dry season or when there is a drought. "As a part of this larger integrated effort, the Foundation also supported a joint initiative of Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD), WaterAid Nepal, and Underprivileged Children's Educational Programs (UCEP) has handed over its third Rainwater Harvesting and Groundwater Recharge project to UCEP at Sanothimi in Bhaktapur on Thursday."
Water being a precious natural resource, The Coca-Cola Foundation continues to ethically drive its approach in ensuring the sustainability of local water resources in the country. The Coca-Cola Foundation and Bottlers Nepal Limited has already handed over two Rainwater harvesting and Groundwater recharge projects; one in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and another in Ranibari Forest Area in Kathmandu valley this year.
Ambuj Singh, Country Director of Coca-Cola in Nepal, on the occasion, said, “We leverage the power of partnerships to conserve and protect freshwater resources around the country and ignite a movement to elevate the critical importance of water resource management. To address this problem of water tables getting depleted in some densely populated urban areas, we, along with our partners initiated Rain Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge projects which targets to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what we use in our finished beverages and their production by 2020."
Likewise, Kabir Das Rajbhandari, Head of Programmes at WaterAid Nepal said, “In the context of continuous depletion of groundwater due to thoughtless exploitation of this resource, WaterAid Nepal (WAN), is promoting institutional rainwater harvesting to recharge groundwater, under its water security theme of 'Recovery and Resilient Programme', which is one out of WaterAid Nepal’s four flagship programmes."
According to him, such initiatives of WaterAid Nepal under its 'Water Security' theme are vital in eco-friendly resilient measures in augmenting the depleting groundwater sources and thus acclimatizing with the current water scarce situation imparted by different factors, climate variability being the major one.
Pushkar Shrestha, Executive Director at the CIUD said, “We would like to thank Coca-Cola in Nepal and Water Aid Nepal for supporting Rain Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge initiative. It is very critical that such initiatives are taken up more by the government, private organizations, businesses and individuals to support our depleting ground water system. We need to take responsibility to recharge and harvest rainwater at all levels - government, businesses and individual level before it is too late. This is a great example of partnership and we hope to continue such partnerships in the future.”
Bottlers Nepal Ltd (BNL), as part of its sustainability initiative on water neutrality, implemented 9 Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) and Ground Water Recharge (GWR) system at Budhanilkantha School, Kathmandu, Nepal. The school lies in the northern part of Kathmandu and the institution is a public site, located in prime recharge area (Gokarna formation), which lies under the delineated watershed of Kathmandu Valley. The school has been identified as a feasible site to implement in a structure that allows 40,000 KL (as validated by BU technical team) of water to be recharged. The structures include both large and small sedimentation tanks, according to the catchment areas in the hilly terrain within the approx. 89,000 Square feet area of the Budhanilkantha School.
Puneet Varshney, Managing Director at the Bottlers Nepal Ltd, on the occasion, said that the Coca-Cola Company understands that Water is a precious shared resource and we have relentlessly been working towards being a net positive contributor to the availability of water in the aquifer in Nepal. "We therefore believe in collaborating with the larger community in the water space, to take collective action to secure sustainable water for all users and future generations," he said, adding that it gives the company immense pleasure to be able to handover to Budhanilkantha School, the Rain Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge Systems, which the company hopes will help with the overall water management at the School in the years to come."
Likewise, Suman Shakya, Managing Director at Smart Paani Pvt Ltd shared, "Nowadays, as people have started depending on groundwater for fulfilling their daily water needs; there is a double negative effect on the environment – First, people extract groundwater which is limited and second, they do not put water back to the ground, which causes water tables to further decrease. This should be changed and everyone should take measures to conserve water as it starts from an individual leading to societal change"
The managed rainwater can be recharged into the shallow aquifer which in turn will help to retain it for community use. Ground water recharge with rainwater will also help to manage flash flood and with storm water management in the school premises, currently a problem.