International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

Hydrogeology aid in Nepal

Monday 13 September, 2021

IAH NSW and Australia supporting Ellen Kwantes’ hydrogeology aid works in Nepal

Ellen Kwantes, the Australian Volunteers Program (AVP) and IAH are providing hydrogeology aid for an important project in the Kathmandu Valley. Ellen is an Associate Hydrogeologist working in Sydney and a committee member of IAH NSW. She recently started a remote assignment with the Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board in Nepal. The Australian government- funded AVP project focusses on assisting the local team with their conceptual and numerical model development for the Kathmandu Valley. AVP matches a broad range of skilled Australians with partner organisations in the Indo-Pacific region. These partnerships help local teams achieve their development goals through capacity building.

Ellen has a special connection to Nepal. Her husband is from Nepal and she has always wanted to contribute to groundwater management in the Kathmandu Valley. In 2019 she took long service leave and spent 2 ½ months in Nepal with her family. During this time she volunteered for the NGO , which also enabled her to make contacts at the Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board.

She is now volunteering with a team of three young hydrogeologists. She is training them in the use of Groundwater Vistas groundwater modelling software and other software packages. It’s been a great experience for Ellen and the team, including opportunities to further develop knowledge of the hydrogeology of the Kathmandu Valley. The AVP program is currently running three-month remote assignments. However, assignment durations are likely to be extended, due to COVID and the need for local hydrogeologists to develop their conceptual and numerical modelling skills.

IAH NSW and IAH Australia are jointly supporting this project by providing funds for software-licencing fees.

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