Volunteering In Water Research | Hydro Power Work Program - Nepal
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Water Research

Program Fees water research

Water is one of the most essential elements for all known forms of life.  Join VIN and our partners to conduct water research in Nepal and contribute solutions to Nepal’s urgent challenge.

Nepal’s water resources continue to be depleted.  While water sources dry up, flash floods destroy homes and lives.  And as existing water sources continue to be polluted with human, animal and chemical waste, remaining resources are inadequately managed.  Industry, agriculture and an increasing population are all in competition for Nepal’s precious water resources.

More than 4.4 million people in Nepal do not have access to safe drinking water, either through pipes, wells, rainwater or bottles.  Over two thirds do not have access to improved sanitation facilities.  Consequently, nearly 2000 Nepali children die from diarrhoea related diseases every year. No satisfactory preventive measurement like water research, public awareness, and sanitation programs are conducted from government and non-government sector.

VIN’s primary mission is the empowerment of marginalised communities, with a focus on women and children.  We have been working with JipurPhedi VDC since 2007 and have recently begun to build foundations with in the Everest region.  Much of our work takes place at community level, however, we seek to invest in solutions to national challenges, for without these the sustainability of our projects and the chance of community independence will be threatened.

VIN seeks volunteers or interns with qualifications or experience in water research, sanitation or related areas.  You will work with our partners, setting up meetings with local representatives to discuss water issues, raise awareness within the local community, carry out water research, uses, conflicts and sanitation and prepare a detailed report with accompanying recommendations for the alleviation of water problems.

During your placement you will live in a home-stay with a local Nepali family.  You will have the chance to become immersed in the culture and language and experience firsthand some of the challenges that the local communities face every day.

A Detailed View

Please read on to discover in more details the issues facing water supply and management, our objectives and your role.


Water Resources

  • Find out how many different types of water resources are available and how are they being used.
  • Find out if the available water is appropriate for drinking.  Is water enough for the residence or other use?
  • Identify flow/volume of water. Find out if the volume is enough for the dependent families.
  • Identify if there are any conflicts between the people using water.
  • Promote alternative ways of fulfilling the demand like rainwater harvesting, ground water harvesting and other feasible techniques.
  • Find if there is any possibility of engaging a micro-hydropower project.


  • Determine whether the water in the sources is infected by germs or chemicals. If so, identify them.
  • Determine whether the water storage tanks need to be maintained.  Are there other ways of protecting the water sources.
  • Determine the possibility of implementation of simple water improvement and treatment techniques e.g. sedimentation tanks, constructed wetlands etc.
  • Determine the level of sanitation awareness and ways to improve.
  • Proper Plans to make multiple use of water, this will help to reduce the water stress effect.

 Your Role

If you think you have the interpersonal and negotiation tools and the relevant experience in water and sanitation, read on and consider some of the tasks you will be involved in.

Water Resources

  • Issue: Classify the types of available water resources, their flow and the volume
  • Issue: Conflict or water wars because of significant need for irrigation, domestic use for drinking, industrial needs etc.
  • Issue: Ways in which water can be used for economic and local industrial purpose like micro hydro power, water mill etc.
  • Issue:Ways to promote and increase access to rainwater and ground water harvesting as a safe water source.
  • Issue: Proper Plans to make multiple use of water, this will help to reduce the water stress effect.
  • The volunteer finds out the types of water resources is available and how are they being used.
  • The volunteer find out if the available water is appropriate for drinking or not and water is enough for the residence or other use.
  • The volunteer identifies the flow/volume of water and its sufficiency.
  • The volunteer identifies the conflict between the people for using water resources, if any.
  • The volunteer determines the alternative ways of fulfilling the demand like rainwater harvesting, ground water harvesting and other feasible techniques.
  • The volunteer studies the possibility of the micro-hydropower project.


  • Issue: Water being polluted and infected because of human behaviour or natural causes
  • The volunteer finds out if the water in the sources is infected in any ways?
  • The volunteer identifies ways to maintain the water storage tanks. The volunteer finds out the possible ways of protecting the water sources.
  • The volunteer finds out the possibility and ways of implementation of waste water treatment techniques like constructed wetlands
  • The volunteer finds out the level of sanitation awareness and ways to improve it.


  • The volunteer determines the methods of survey and conducts the field survey: collects and analyses testimony, records data and consolidates activity reports.
  • The volunteer organises meetings with local representatives of government and community.
  • The volunteer establishes and maintains a communication network with local/government authorities, farmers and factories.
  • The volunteer assists the main coordinator in checking recorded data and providing data analysis.

Your Experience

Throughout your placement you will have the full support of VIN.  Your safety is our highest priority.  On arrival you will be greeted at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transported to your hotel (alternative arrangements can be made for those already in Nepal prior to the start of their placement).  You will then receive a comprehensive three-day induction, during which time you will be provided with information about your particular placement as well as general information, including basic Nepalese language and culture.  This is also a good time to mix with other volunteers or interns who may be great sight-seeing companions and a source of support during your volunteer placement.

During the induction you will be accommodated in a hotel.  However, a large part of the VIN experience comes from the immersion of a home stay with a Nepalese host family.  While this is an essential part of the experience we also recognise that it can be a challenging one, becoming part of a new culture and becoming accustomed to facilities that will be more basic than those you are used to.  However, all our host families are experienced in accommodating volunteers – although their ability to speak English will vary – and you will have 24 hour access to contact and support from our staff members during your placement.


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