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Forum for discussion on water related research ideas, research protocols, methodologies, funding sources, etc.

Seasonal suitability of indicators

Postby NicNak » 30 Aug 2011 11:25

Hi all

I'm doing some research looking how accuracy of WASH indicators may shift over a year due to seasonality. Does anyone know of any work where an assessment might have been carried out in dry season and then another in wet to compare levels of access/ suitability of infrastructure?

Have you seen any work which examines the bias that may occur due to assessments, e.g. JMP, taking part in seasons where access, and life, may be easier?

I see lots of seasonal poverty work; but primarily in the context of food, income and agriculture (and a bit on seasonal prevalence of illness) - I'd be very interested to see if anyone has come across some studies looking at water/sanitation/hygiene - and the varying barriers to their improvement over the course of a year.

I will be doing this in a mountain context looking at different standards of WASH from cold to warm season.


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Re: Seasonal suitability of indicators

Postby heijnen » 23 Sep 2011 07:48

While working in Nepal, we did not do research on this aspect, except to some extent on water consumption in the mountains,middle hills and bazaar villages (water taken from tapstands). Water consumption ranged from 20 - 30 l a day in mountain villages, 35-45 litres per per person a day and 60-70 l in the bazaar villages. In bazaar villages the floating population will have been important, but was not discounted for. Water quantity was abundant in all systems included in the study. The study took place in the monsoon of 1984 (probably August). IRC, Ten Years of Experience, CWSSP, Pokhara, Nepal, 1988.

To initiate mobilisation for more substantial maintenance work or repair, we started discussions only around January/February at the middle of the dry season when the pinch of watershortages was beginning to feel, and people would be more inclined to think about it and agree to common action. That usually worked well.

In mountain areas we occasionally used water sources that could not really be reached in winter because it was too dangerous or cumbersome (due to snow/frost), and sometimes the monsoon made reaching sources difficult due to leeches. There was one system where preferred times of visiting the source was April/May, or October, for reasons given above.

The main interest in seasonality in hill areas in Nepal would be related to the gradual decline in water quantity from the monsoon period, ending say in October in Nepal, to December/January when upper sources started to dry up, into April/May, when water can/could be really short, while the temperature is rising as well. Communities would manage this decline in water availability by managing the timings the reservoir would supply water to the public taps: usually some time in the morning and the evening. Changes in upland land-use and deforestation has made water shortages more severe, thus also further reducing dry-season flows. This will all get worse with climate change, as run-off of less days of more heavy rainfall will affect the quantity of water that will percolate and remain behind to augment groundwater storage.

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