Hydraulic Ram Pumps Lifting Water to Improve Livelihoods in Nepal

October 18, 2016

The Hydraulic Ram Pump (Hydram) is an automatic water pumping device which uses the pressure created by falling water to drive a portion of water up hill to a much greater height than the source. It is a clean and simple technology which is easy to operate and ideal for the mountainous terrain of Nepal where communities often sit high above a water source, having to rely on rain fed agriculture. To date, we have installed 10 Hydrams across Dhading and Syangja Districts through three pilot projects.

In our most recent pilot project, in partnership with Ncell, we successfully installed three Hydrams in Syangja district delivering water for agricultural and domestic use to 71 households. We have worked with the benefiting communities to link these pumps to micro-irrigation technology (MITs) and other climate smart innovations, providing households with the opportunity to increase their production of high-value vegetable crops throughout the year, but particularly in the dry season. Local agricultural collection centers were key partners through this project. Communities were linked directly to collection centers, giving them a directly market for their agricultural produce. Additionally, the collection centers were provided with the tools to become marketing hubs for the Hydram and generate demand for this innovative technology in the local area.

As part of this project we focused on supporting the communities to source a portion of the capital costs from locally available district grants and loans, thereby building the Hydram brand and marketing its benefits. Bringing learning and technical tools from our Kenyan programme, we designed and piloted a pay-for-consumption payment mechanism in one Hydram site. Here, a unique metering, billing, and payment system (Steama-N) is used to collect fees from community members. This means that the water that is pumped can be measured and households pay only based on what they have used.

The following video has been developed in partnership with Ncell to showcase the project, the Hydram technology and it’s relevance to Nepal. We are grateful to Ncell for their support and partnership.