This case study helps to develop a better overall understanding of the roles and need for managing traditional water management technologies and to focus greater attention towards preserving them. The unique traditional stone spouts of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, demonstrate human ingenuity in harnessing subsurface flows and are, as well, an example of outstanding social accomplishment in the form of communal collaboration. In addition, in places, some of these spouts are recognised as having significant heritage conservation value and thus contribute, via tourism, to the local and national economy. This study shows the current values of traditional spouts and their connection with social and cultural norms by comparing two spouts in peri-urban heritage areas of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Ultimately, it shows that in the presence of an alternative modern piped water supply system, which is inherently unreliable at times, the absence of an appropriate property right system is leading to the ongoing decline in the state of these traditional spout systems.

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