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Water distribution system satisfaction index
WDSSI

1.                                Introduction

The IDP-MWR project has renovated or established 15 irrigations systems in the Mid-Western region of Nepal. This region is one the poorest of the country. The Project has changed many qualitative and quantitative aspects of the water system within and around the villages where the intervention has taken place. Due to the paucity of staff and the versatility of the water usage, it has been felt that the technical and quantified data related to water would remain unexplored unless a procedure based on people experience and perception was introduced. The present methodology proposes to explore the satisfaction regarding water distribution for the various uses as perceived by the different groups of people served by the distribution system. A minimum set of criteria is proposed based on the observation but additional criteria can be proposed by the participants to the scoring/ranking exercize.

The stratification of the population is based on two dimensions :

age and sex : (children, male and female adult) (see photo)

wealth group : very rich,  rich, middle, poor and very poor, as defined by a preliminary wealth ranking.

The satisfaction perceptions are expressed through a scoring (0 to 5) of the different qualities/satisfaction criteria of the system and a ranking of their relative importance. 

The aggregation of the scorings takes into consideration the population of the different social strata and the relative importance of the criteria. The satisfaction score of each criteria is multiplied by the importance coefficient and by the population proportion.

An expression of the satisfaction before and after the intervention is sought.

2.                                Population stratification and procedure for scoring and ranking

A group of people within the same wealth group is called based on the data collected at the occasion of the wealth ranking. Women and children are specifically encouraged to join the session.

After the introduction to the exercise, children are first asked to rank and score, then the women then the men in order to limit the influence of the traditional hierarchy.

The audience is first ask to rank the importance of the various criteria by sharing a set of 30 stones or maize cobs. A score of satisfaction (0 to 5) is then given for the respective criteria before and after the intervention. (see photo)

3.                                Criteria

3.1                            Satisfaction derived from the supply of irrigation water to the cultivated fields

This satisfaction indicator is an element of triangulation with the Irrigation Satisfaction Index which consider with more details the technicalities of water distribution but does not allow a differentiation into the social matrix.

It is expected to reflect the satisfaction derived from the supply of water to the whole cropping cycle.

3.2                            Satisfaction derived from the supply of water for domestic use (dish and cloth cleaning, bathing).

Children and women seem to use the canal for these activities quite frequently. A score and an importance rank is sought separately for each usage. (see photo)

3.3                            Satisfaction derived from the supply of water to the animal.

As the water in the lined canal appears much less turbid than in the earth canal, it may be considered as a quite safe water for the animals even in some case for the people.

With an increased interest for stall feeding, the chance are that more water from the canal is given the domestic animals.

3.4                            Satisfaction derived from the supply of water to water mill.

Increased velocity and increased discharge may have some impact on the performances of any water mill. Additional water mill have implemented along the canal. (see photo)

3.5                            Satisfaction derived from the supply of water to fish pound.

Rarely seen so far but villagers have expressed interest.

3.6                            Satisfaction derived from employment during construction.

As many of the populations targeted by IDP-MWR experience a significant seasonal migration, this source of employment may have therefore a noticeable effect.

3.7                            Satisfaction derived from employment for the maintenance/operation of the water distribution system.

It is unlikely that more than 2 to 3 persons would be employed for the operation/maintenance of the small systems in the CAs developed by IDP-MWR. Nevertheless, in larger system or in system were the possibility to sell water would emerge, the employment generation may take some importance for a significant group of people.

3.8                            Satisfaction derived from the improved access to the forest through the wall sided canal or service roads.

The movement into the forest on the canal walls have been improved. Service roads are also built along larger canal crossing the forest. Movements into the cultivated area is also significantly improved. (see photos)

3.9                            Satisfaction derived from the drainage occurring through the water distribution system

The presence of masonry wall along the canal may reduce its capacity to drain the surrounding during the heavy rains but the increased water velocity could compensate or even offset this.

3.10                        Other benefits or inconvenience from the distribution system.

As expressed by the participants to the session.

4.                                Calculation of the water distribution system satisfaction index

The scores related to each criteria are weighted according to the relative importance and the relative size of the population strata. The weighted scores are then added up into the WDSSI.

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