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Challenge 1 [Topic 1] Current Onsite Sanitation System in the Urban Areas of Bhutan is not Adequate

Topic 1: Efficient Water Management
Bhutan is a small country in the Himalayas sandwiched between the world’s two most populated nations with China in the North and India in the south.Although the total population is just about 800,000, it is experiencing the most of the challenges faced by other developing nations both in terms of rapid urbanisation, economic development and environmental issues. Bhutan has made significant achievements on basic sanitation todate; however access to improved sanitation is still low. Improved sanitation is very important particularly in the urban areas where population is more concentrated and where basic sanitation is not adequate. A rapid urban growth has resulted in increased water usage and the volume of wastewater (black water from toilets and grey water from bathrooms and kitchens) generated which needs proper treatment and disposal has also increased significantly. Discharging untreated wastewater directly to the environment poses a significant risk to public health from the presence of highly infectious faecal matter. Besides, the untreated wastewater also contains organic nutrients and other contaminants that pollute our pristine environment (land and water) undermining the environmental health and its natural ecosystem.

Providing public wastewater management infrastructures (collection and centralised treatment system) require huge capital investments because of which Bhutan government has been struggling to provide adequate infrastructures for all urban centres. Currently only 10 out of 61 towns in Bhutan have municipal sewage collection and treatment infrastructures. All other towns including the unsewered areas of the 10 towns therefore depend on the onsite sanitation system for the treatment of domestic black water while the grey water is generally discharged directly to the environment without any form of treatment. The conventional onsite sanitation system consists of a watertight septic tank and soak pit, which is not appropriate for the modern urban settings for number of reasons. Firstly, the treatment efficiency of the septic tank is very moderate relying mainly on effective land infiltration treatment using soak pit. However, soak pit is effective only when large land area and good soil conditions are available and such conditions are not generally found in the urban areas where plots are generally very small and the soil has poor infiltration capacity. Secondly, the onsite treatment systems are also generally poorly designed, constructed and maintained. They have high carbon footprint due to release of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas that accelerates global warming and climate change. All these ultimately result in the discharge of raw or poorly treated effluent containing highly contagious pathogens and organic nutrients to the environment posing high risk to public health and the environmental pollution.

Therefore there is an urgent need to improve the urban sanitation in Bhutan to replace the age-old system of using septic tank and soak pit system that are no more suitable for the current urban settings. The improved technology must accommodate both grey water and black water treatment as the current septic tanks are not usually designed. The technology should also be cost effective and affordable to the developing countries such as Bhutan.

Challenge 2 [Topic 1] Drainage Water Reuse in Egypt

Topic 1: Efficient Water Management
Since the 1980’s Egypt started to use marginal water as an additional source of water for irrigation purpose. This can be regarded to the water scarcity problem that faces the northern African region in general. However recently the approach of mixing fresh water with drainage water is at risk due to the degradation of the drainage water quality and the reduction in the fresh water quantity used. what made the situation worse is the illegal dumping of biological and chemical waste in drains which in turn caused the work in several mixing stations in the Egyptian Delta to be halted. The point sources of pollution threaten the mixing process in nearly 18 drainage basins in the Delta. Consequently the irrigation and cultivation processes will be affected adversely, for instance; the soil salinity will increase affecting the growth rate of the crops. Not to mention that marginal water infected with biological waste allows the formation of rich environment for bacterial growth which infects both human and cattle in deadly ways. Almost 30% of the Egyptian populous do farming for living of which more than half of them would be threatened by either infection or loss of land and income which would make their lives even harsher than it already is.

Challenge 3 [Topic 1] How Can Rainwater Harvesting Be Implemented to Obtain an Alternative Resource in HCMC, Mekong Delta?

Topic 1: Efficient Water Management
Ho Chi Minh metropolitan area, Mekong delta, is facing a serious water crisis because of the increasing water demand due to the rapid population and economic growth; and the water quality and quantity problems regarding its two main water sources, river and ground water. Both waters are seriously polluted by ongoing sources in the highly populated and urbanized region. Seawater intrusion and groundwater depletion substantially limit the availability of the water resources.
This is threatening the public health of the residents and causing many serious economic-social conflicts in Ho Chi Minh city. Rainwater harvesting has been suggested as an effective way to obtain alternative water resources in the metropolitan area. The Vietnamese people has positive attitude toward rainwater harvesting as it is their tradition. The region receives a plenty of precipitation, which indicates a potential of the application of rainwater harvesting. However, the challenges of rainwater harvesting and the utilization of the collected rainwater are how to obtain a large and clean rainwater collection surface in the populated region. To obtain rainwater with reasonable quantity and acceptable quality, a technological breakthrough to place a large collection surface in the populated region and to maintain its cleanness is required.

Challenge 4 [Topic 2] Water Scarcity and Saline Groundwater Affecting Local Community of Kojani,Zanzibar

Topic 2: Resource Recovery from Water and Wastewater Systems
Kojani island (part of Pemba Islands) in Zanzibar, Tanzania is around 7 square kilometers with a population of 15 000 inhabitants mainly concentrated in the main town called Kojani.
Many environmental and socioeconomic factors make the living conditions in Kojani very precarious and vulnerable. The main source of income is agriculture (rice, coconut and clove), fishing and seaweed farming and to some extent there is a certain dependency from tourism (Hansson, 2010).

Kojani Island suffers in terms of water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Groundwater being the primary source of fresh water, it depends on the rainfalls which are characterized by two rainy seasons with drier periods in between. The most important rainy season called Masika runs from the end of March to the end of May and is the most important groundwater recharge for the community.

Water supply in Kojani is very critical due to the inadequacy of infrastructure and water supply insecurity: besides collecting groundwater from the rainy season, the town also collects drinking water from Pemba Island but the amount remains insufficient and the lack of infrastructure doesn’t allowthe town of Kojani to have a pump station of their own.

To tackle this issue, the local population has developed alternative ways of collecting water but that are neither hygienic nor sustainable: using unclean plastic buckets to transport it from Pemba to Kojani by wooden boats; using shallow open water wells which are already polluted and collecting water directly from artificial ponds.

As a result, the city of Kojani has an important problem of water pollution due to a lack of sewage system which also makes villagers use soak-pits as toilets (located inside or near their house and leaks into the groundwater). Water wells are also contaminatedby decomposing organic matters (such as leaves, small animals, or dust) which falls in. And finally, the biggest problem of groundwater remains the salinity.

Challenge 5 [Topic 3] RasGharib Floods

Topic 3: Water and Natural Disasters
Recently, the world has faced a number of water crises, one of which is the flash floods. RasGharib city, a city on the Red sea shores of Egypt, faced this natural phenomenon few months ago. This rainfall was not just water, not just a flood; but a water monster that roamed throughout the city evacuating all things that stands in its way including buildings, homes and most importantly taking lives!

That happened because no one was prepared to face this problem. No scenarios to deal with flash floods were ever introduced to RasGharib before; the public were not aware of the possibility of a flood to take place and so never hesitated to build their homes on flat and low lands which happen to be the upcoming floodwater streams. On the other hand, there was no precaution measures prepared to face such a catastrophe.

This problem which took place in October 2016 left a number of people still looking for a safe shelter until now and a whole city afraid of waking up the next day with their homes floating on the surface of a new floodwater as if another flood takes place tomorrow, the number of lives, buildings and infrastructure threatened by it will not be less than the old one, if not more.

We have to find a solution to this problem, not only to save RasGharib and all its citizens but to prevent this from happening anywhere else in the world. In RasGharib they dealt with the aftermath of the problem, maybe not very well and maybe this is also a problem but other less fortunate cities if passed by the same catastrophe will be left with more dramatic circumstances and loss of lives not just because of floods but also cold and poverty.

Challenge 6 [Topic 3] Villagers Suffering from Draught and Arsenic Water Simultaneously

Topic 3: Water and Natural Disasters
Shankarpur is one of the underdeveloped village located at the border of terai and hilly region of the Nepal. Literacy ratio is quite below the average as village doesn’t even have the primary facility like school, health post and road.

Once villagers used to cultivate cash crop twice a year and they thought agriculture would be their business. But today they have to depend rainfall just to cultivate the rice and potato to get survive through the year. Perhaps climate change has strike its effect first on that village.

With the help of some INGO and locals, around 20 hand pumps were build but the water from all those hand pumps are contaminated by arsenic. Later on some NGO got involve and distributed 4/5 dozens of arsenic water filter .unfortunately those filters were benefited only to the active and aware villagers. Remaining villagers continued to use it without any filter. It’s been decade. Political situation of Nepal is not stable and there is no any active local government because it’s been 20 years without local election.

River “Inguriya Nadi” flows along the border of the village from where 20% of villagers use it for the drinking purpose. But this river can’t be used in rainy season due to flood.

So the main problems are
   1. Arsenic water for drinking purpose
   2. Need to depend on sky rain for agriculture

Challenge 7 [Topic 3] Water Scarcity Issues in the Small Hilly Villages of Under Pemagatshel District in Bhutan

Topic 3: Water and Natural Disasters
Bhutan is a small country in the Himalayas sandwiched between the world’s two most populated nations with China in the North and India in the south. Bhutan has a very unique development philosophy called Gross National Happiness (GNH), an index that measures the collective happiness in a nation instead of widely used gross domestic product. GNH is a currently based on four pillars: economic self-reliance, environmental conservation, cultural preservation and promotion, and good governance. Bhutan has rich water resources and the high flowing rivers is the main source of hydropower energy most of which are exported to India. Bhutan’s constitution mandates to preserve 60% forest cover at all times.

Although environmental conservation is one of the most revered policies in Bhutan however, several rural communities in Bhutan are facing water scarcity issues mostly due to drying up of local water sources. One such typical example is in a remote village located in the eastern part of Bhutan under administrative district called Pemagatshel. Characterized by warm and temperate climate, the villages namely Gonpasingma, Kherigonpa and Gonpung under Pemagatshel are running shortage of drinking water in every winter season. The main sources of the water at the nearby streams have water available only during the summer rainy seasons. Often the aftermath of water shortages results in legal disputes bringing hostilities in the villages. As these villages are located in a steep and rugged terrain, underground water sources are not likely to occur however, such options areconstrained as there are no studies recorded for the presence of groundwater in the area.Tapping of excess water from the running streams and harvesting rainwater during the summer season and storing for the winter season is not a suitable option as the dry season could last longer than 6 months and hence the storage capacity would be huge which is not feasible for rugged regions.Currently, these villages collect water from the rivulets below the villages which could be several hours on foot or some using tractors or horse backs, etc.

The water sources in these villages are limited and drying up of these sources isone of the major water issues in these villages. The streams form the main water sources for these villages but these streams are rain fed and dry up during the dry winter season. The drying of water sources is mainly associated due to loss of vegetation within the watershedor catchments to agricultural land. The climate change is also likely to partly blame for such water scarcity due to change in the rainfall pattern. The other reason is that, these villages are located on the border of two different water catchments and on the edge of the main water line where the water cannot be piped under natural gravitation. Shortage of water in the villages might compel the villagers to abandon their homes and farmlands which increase pressure on the urban areas due to rural-urban migration.

Challenge 8 [Topic 3] Drinking Water and Sanitation Problem in Bamgha Village, Gulmi Nepal

Topic 3: Water and Natural Disasters
Type a summary of the water problem into this form up to 500 words in length.

Bamgha is a beautiful village located in Gulmi district, western part of Nepal. It lies at an altitude of 1500m from sea level. 240 people reside in the village and there is a primary school for children. Modern water supply system is not available in village. People meet their basic demand of water via the water sources like spring and streams that are located far down the village i.e. at the height of 500m. The women and children fetch water by walking from the height of 1000m vertical height. Women and children in particular are often deprived of opportunities to be engaged in various creative and income generating activities because they spend most of their valuable hours in fetching water. Due to water scarcity, the sanitation practice is also poor.

The students of the primary schools are also facing the problem of drinking water and water for sanitation practice.

The village is now electrified. People are trying to install a water pump run by electricity. The running cost of the project with grid-connected electricity is high. Because, paying capacity of the people is less. The average rainfall is also good in the territory. There may be a good option for rainwater harvesting technologies.

But, the villagers are searching for a sustainable and cost effective technology to solve this

Challenge 9 [Topic 4] Near the Water without Water

Topic 4: Smart Water Technologies
People living in the mountainous areas of Central Asia (CA) are among the most vulnerable groups as they are limited in the basic right of access to water. The supply of water is challenged by hilly areas, where the elevation is high and construction of water pipes is technically difficult. However, even when the water is supplied without knowledge of sustainable water practices and ecosystems use, people may have an adverse impact on the environment and on downstream population.

Throughout the years, the population of Nayzirak village inSouth Tajikistan has been affected by little access to water, which limited their agricultural activities, resulting in migration from the village. In recent years, the installation of 10km water pipe has provided the village with stable irrigation water to support livelihoods and has revived agriculture in the region.

Driven primarily by economic interests, the intensification of agriculture has resulted in a range of negative effects, including increased soil erosion and risk of mudflows from upstream Nayzirak to the downstream Dagana and Nurek cities along the Kyzylsu River. As the erosion problems persist, the sedimentation results in the siltation of Kunduz Reservoir, affecting downstream population. Due to unstable drinking water supply in the area, local population started using irrigation water for household needs, which puts at stake people’s health by increasing the risk of waterborne disease outbreak.

People of Nayzirak village are fully dependent on the ecosystem and driven primarily by economic gains, hardly consider environmental effects and adverse impact on the downstream population.They continue unsustainable use of water resources and irrigation. This will further exacerbate the problem of clean water supply to downstream cities due to siltation of the reservoir.

The Korea International Water Week could become an apt platform to address the important water challenge of upstream and downstream water use. Despite living close to the water source, none can enjoy water resources at its fullest with the upstream population having no access to clean drinking water and those in the downstream affected by polluted water due to siltation. To be longer-term and more strategic the solution for the issues such as this has to be sought taking a somewhat broaderview in mind, considering among other things important implications on national economy, stability of social system and health of the population.

Challenge 10 [Topic 4] Water Management Crisis in Cisangkuy River and Bandung Mega City in Indonesia

Topic 4: Smart Water Technologies
Population increase and rapid urbanization in the West Java Indonesia bring significant challenges on sustainable water resources management. Especially, the Cisangkuy river basin, located in the south of Bandung Metropolitan is suffering from severe water shortage, poor water quality, and frequent flooding disaster. The basin is subject to tropical climate pattern which is marked by two seasons, wet season from October to March and dry season from April to September. 85% of the average annual rainfall occurs during wet season. Huge variation of rainfall is to be aggravated due to the increasing risk of extreme hydrology from global warming and climate change.

The basin is an important source of water supply to Bandung Metropolitan. However, the mega city has already stressed to secure water for dense population of 2,500/km2. Water shortage will hinder sustainable growth and welfare of the residents.

The population of Bandung Metropolitan will exceed more than 10 million in 2040. Corresponding water demands are to increase from 16.6 m³/s in 2010 to 23.4 m³/s in 2040. Competition on the limited available water resources among various water uses such as municipal, irrigation, hydropower, and industry has increased conflict significantly over the past 2 decades leading a situation of acute water and environmental stress in the region.

Too much groundwater abstraction traps the sustainability of water environment in the region, Reshaped water management to stop severe land subsidence should be prepared. Deforestation and rapid land use changes cause further challenges.

Furthermore, fragmented water management governance with poor water facilities operational capability of basin water managers deteriorates conflict among stakeholders in water resources management. Sharing data and information among stakeholders still challenges. Building innovative technological approaches with institutional setting through intelligent and integrated basin water resources management is urgently required to overcome water crisis in the region.
World Water Challenge Bulletin Board
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Notice World Water Challenge 2017 Bulletin Board Guidance KIWW 2017-06-14
3 Challenge 7 small water sources Auke Idzenga 2017-06-14
2 Challenge 8 data on source 200 m below Auke Idzenga 2017-06-14
1 World Water Challenge 2017 Bulletin Board Guidance KIWW 2017-06-14
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