Experiences from Multiple Use Water Systems in Nepal - A Case Study of Phulbari village of Syangja District
iDE Nepal has developed the concept of MUS, which utilizes small spring water sources to meet both domestic and irrigation needs for vegetables. This paper details the outcome of a case study carried out in the Phulbari village in Syangja district and three small studies undertaken in three other MUS in the mid-hills of Nepal. Phulbari MUS has a unique nature that includes the 100% low-caste minorities and socio-economic disparities with the neighbours. The paper evaluates the impact of MUS based on the multiple dimensions of its use, benefits and management. The paper reveals that MUS creates multiple opportunities for smallholders, enhances land and water productivity, improves rural livelihoods, and promotes gender equity by making optimal use of available water resources. Lack of institutional functioning of MUS user groups and increasing drying up of water resources around the mid-hills are both prominent challenges. MUS requires strong social mobilization to improve its management, particularly when working with the low-caste marginalized communities.