Sustainability Science

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1037–1053 | Cite as

Integrated urban water management scenario modeling for sustainable water governance in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

  • Chitresh Saraswat
  • Binaya Kumar Mishra
  • Pankaj Kumar
Special Feature: Original Article Sustainability Science and Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Feature: Sustainability Science and Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals


The goal of ensuring water availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030 is one of the top priorities of the UN-SDGs. The fragile institutional capabilities induce the transitioning towards the sustainable urban water paradigm to accommodate the complexities and uncertainties. This research methodically draws sustainable water management strategies to achieve water security after a critical literature review, trends and policy analysis, and scenario modeling of the study area. First, research systematically illustrated the analysis of unmet water demand and coverage during the study period (2015–2030) and evaluated the impact of external factors such as population growth, living standard, and climate change on the current water system of the Kathmandu Valley. The results showed that future water demand is likely to reach 765 MLD by the year 2030 from the estimated current demand of 388.1 MLD. Also, external factors will increase the pressure on the current water supply–demand systems, and hence exacerbate the water stress but result showed the negligible impact of climate change during the study period. The research explored the significance of “Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP)” and found that the effective implementation of MWSP will decrease the unmet water demand by 56–66% in the valley. In the second part, comparative analysis of different management strategies under four future scenarios (optimistic, moderate I and II and business-as-usual) were carried out. The comparative analysis revealed that the proposed optimal management strategy (under optimistic scenario) would lead to achieving 100% of water demand coverage by year 2027.


Sustainable development goals Water security Climate change adaptation Sustainable water governance Melamchi Water Supply Project 



This study was supported by the United Nations University, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, Tokyo. The first author, Chitresh Saraswat, would like to acknowledge that the research work is part of his masters dissertation work, also he would like to thank the officials from KUKL, Kathmandu Valley, for providing the required insights used in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chitresh Saraswat
    • 1
  • Binaya Kumar Mishra
    • 1
  • Pankaj Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)United Nations UniversityTokyoJapan

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