A work plan for a Water Operators Partnership has been developed following an inception mission to Nepal. Under the auspices of the ADB-AWP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Grantley Butterfield (AWP), Graeme Bartle-Smith (Water Services Association of Australia) and Binit Rijal (Logan City Council) travelled to Nepal on an inception mission for the Water Operators Partnership in Kathmandu. The Australian partners were warmly welcomed by Dr Mahesh P Bhattarai, General Manager of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL), a local utility that provides water and wastewater services, and were joined by Vijay Padmanabhan, an ADB technical advisor on urban water. The partnership is focusing on ways to address non-revenue water, and on strategic issues more generally.
The delegates undertook a day of site visits to key locations for KUKL to see first-hand the existing and future storage and distribution network. This experience provided an insight into how the utility operates, including its successes and challenges.
Delegates considered the approach for the WOP to ensure KUKL receives support and expertise to remedy some immediate challenges in non-revenue water. They also discussed the future direction of the KUKL, including the key role of young water professionals entering the utility as it matures, and the newly created mandate under the Nepalese Government for the engagement and inclusion of women in the workplace.
The discussions laid the foundations for the preparation of work plan for the partnership, which has now been produced.