Water Quality in the Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal: A Modification of Viable Field-based Testing Methods

Joshua Gruver, Kirsten Nicholson, Klaus Neumann, Subodh Sharma, Carolyn Dowling

Abstract


Poorly managed solid waste disposal in the Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal, (SNP) is causing considerable degradation of major rivers and drinking water in the region. This research began as a study to: (1) identify sources of water contamination; (2) better understand the breadth of this problem; and (3) begin to develop technical solutions for resolving these problems. The remoteness of the study site and rugged terrain challenged the equipment used to collect and store samples and caused us to modify our protocols. Further, the complex interactions among natural resource management issues, increasing tourism, a struggling economy, climate change, and the risk of natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes) in the SNP triggered a change in our initial approach to the problem. We decided to broaden our research goals to include community-based resource management efforts designed to inform how resources are protected and governed in the SNP. Understanding communities, residents, and other stakeholder’s attitudes and perceptions of the social, economic, and environmental risks is necessary to help community leaders develop and sustain a useful governing framework to support water quality risk mitigation. This manuscript is an effort to communicate the evolving nature of our methodology over time and make a case for flexible research design, particularly in areas where geography, culture, and resource management potentially pose substantial challenges to traditional research methods. The methodology we eventually adopted is generalizable to similar remote mountainous regions around the globe.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v6i2.10635

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Copyright (c) 2017 Joshua Gruver, Kirsten Nicholson, Klaus Neumann, Subodh Sharma, Carolyn Dowling

Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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