EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Water security for subjective wellbeing: new perspectives for sustainable development

Giulia Roder1, Saroj Kumar Chapagain1, Paul Hudson2, Geetha Mohan1,3, and Kensuke Fukushi1,3
Giulia Roder et al.
  • 1Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, United Nations University, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Japan) (Corresponding author:
  • 2Institute for Environmental Sciences and Geography, University of Potsdam, Potsdam-Golm (Germany)
  • 3Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (Japan)

The notion of sustainable development in the current policy environment is inescapable from the concept of human wellbeing, as linked to the civic, political, economic, and natural environments people live in. However, the latter has been quite often overlooked in the scientific discussion, whereas nature’s ability to support and expand human capabilities and activities is essential for sustainable development. In this context, water is a crucial resource and has an immeasurable value in both economic and non-economic roles, with a deep spiritual significance in many cultures as well. However, access to clean water to meet basic needs is precluded in many countries in the world. This inaccessibility puts entire communities in jeopardy, thus impacting their happiness and sustainable living and development. A large proportion of the Nepalese society is bereft of access to adequate and safe drinking water, challenging the availability of this scares resource and its management in the future.

For this reason, we are undertaking 650 face-to-face interviews to understand peoples’ subjective wellbeing related to water in Pokhara metropolitans city, the second-largest city of Nepal. Preliminary results from the pre-test (n=50) demonstrated a modest sense of place and happiness overall but was impacted by the perceived unsatisfactory water quality. People strongly expressed a desire for new political commitment towards the creation of new regulatory approaches concerning water quality standards and management strategies. The pre-test respondents validated their support for increasing the quality of the water environment in the local water supply system by offering to pay an extra surcharge (in taxes or water bills), which is up to the double of their current expenses. These partial results suggest that the good quality of water is essential for the future urban planning in the form of increase people health and secure a sustainable development for future generations to come.

How to cite: Roder, G., Chapagain, S. K., Hudson, P., Mohan, G., and Fukushi, K.: Water security for subjective wellbeing: new perspectives for sustainable development, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12180,, 2020

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Display material version 1 – uploaded on 02 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-12180, Sarah Garré, 05 May 2020

    Thanks for this interesting angle. I indeed feel a bit strange when seeing Belgium in the top of water stress lists and comparing to these communities hardly having access to water . How can this be better reflected in the global water stress indicators?

    • AC1: Reply to Sarah Garré, Giulia Roder, 05 May 2020

      Dear Sarah Garré,

      I really thank you for the message, but probably you have posted it on the wrong abstract. My research is about water security and sustainable development in Pokhara (Nepal). I hope you can have a look at it either.

      With my best regards,

      Giulia Roder

  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-12180, Sarah Garré, 05 May 2020

    Hi Giulia, yes, sorry. I've been clicking and reading too much stuff this morning. I also viewed yours, so there is my error. Interesting study you did!