Abstract

Urban areas in low- and middle-income countries are under chronic water stress, and multiple water source use (MWSU) is common. A detailed study on MWSU is necessary for strengthening water security and enhancing household water resilience to natural disasters which is defined as the ability of a household water system that is exposed to a disaster to resist, accommodate, and recover efficiently in a short time. Surveys were conducted in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, before and after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. A classification of resilient and non-resilient households was based on respondents' perception scores of their water systems before the earthquake and one month after. Around 80% of households used two to three water sources, and 70% of households were classified as water resilient. Three characteristics of a water resilient household were: (i) use of greater number of water sources, (ii) use of multiple reliable water sources such as piped water, groundwater, and (iii) use of effective adaptive strategies such as water storage in a bigger container. Since the study showed the practice of MWSU enhanced the resilience, protection and management of local water sources (well, spring, stone spouts) by initiatives of local government or communities or both is recommended.

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