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In July , Siobhan commenced a month volunteer placement to work with NEWAH to design and supervise the construction of a new water resource infrastructure. 

NEWAH is working in villages in Nepal that have been facing worsening water shortages over the past years,  particularly during the dry (pre-monsoon) seasons.  This has resulted in local groundwater springs drying up, and local village residents having to collect water from waterways located far downstream.  It is often the responsibility of the Nepalese women and girls to collect water, and it is not uncommon for this to be a three to four hour round trip.  NEWAH is currently installing standard rainwater harvesting tanks (.m) within local households as well as four spring intake structures designed to divert water from the groundwater springs to local tap stands.

Recently, Siobhan’s work in Nepal has involved:

  • Technical assistance to NEWAH’s construction manager in building a third and final stream-flow gauging station. 
  • Training of NEWAH staff members in GIS mapping so that they can create maps of their projects and present these maps in reports.
  • Educating local community members about the purpose of monitoring local streamflow, spring discharge and rainfall, through community consulation workshops.
  • Providing training to local community members in hydrological monitoring for the recently installed stream-flow and rainfall gauging stations.
  • Developing a hydrological model of the pilot trial catchment.
  • Developing a water balance model for the rainwater harvesting infrastructure and the spring intake infrastructure.

Siobhan has also been working with one of EWB’s Knowledge Hubs,  a group of professional volunteer engineers based in Perth, who have been developing the design drawings for the pilot trial infrastructure.  The EWB team are developing detailed design drawings for alternative water resource infrastructure that aims to capture water during the monsoon period and store it high up in the catchments and close to the villages.  The pilot trial infrastructure will then be built by NEWAH after the wet season (monsoon season) in Nepal this year.  The pilot trial infrastructure will continue to be monitored and evaluated by NEWAH for a period of one year following its construction

To find out more about Siobhan’s work in Nepal visit her website 

NEWAH Construction Manager Srijana Shrestha and Nepali girl at a local tap stand in Sandikhola.

Siobhan Maxwell analysing a streamflow data record provided by Sumitra Thapa, local resident of Sandikhola.

NEWAH labourers laying HDPE Pipe in the village of Darbhung.