Webinar Series 2014 (Sept - Dec)

A series of eleven webinars on rainwater harvesting, groundwater research and water point mapping (RAIN - UPGro - WaterAid - IRC - RWSN)



28.11.2014 • 09:00

Groundwater, poverty and development UPGro UK event • Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ, UK

21.08.2014 - 07.12.2014

RWSN Webinars: Autumn 2014 Series Rainwater Harvesting, UPGro and Water Point Mapping • Webex

News • Announcements


Clean water from good boreholes critical to Ebola response

Ensuring that medical facilities have sufficient quantities and quality of water is critical as the crisis in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea continues. For those agencies working these areas and who maybe drilling boreholes we strongly recommend that you refer to the RWSN Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes to make sure work is being done to a high quality and a reasonable cost. French versions of all the companion volumes will be available very soon. | »


GLAAS 2014 – the most important report that you probably haven’t heard of (With thanks to WASH Advocates for their timely email and blog post)

GLAAS is UN-water GLobal Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and drinking-water. It “provides a global update on the policy frameworks, institutional arrangements, human resource base, and international and national finance streams in support of sanitation and drinking-water.” This sounds boring, but it is important. In the 2014 GLAAS report there many important general recommendations about lack of funding, dependence on external funding, lack of human resources in the WASH sector and major monitoring gaps, however for rural water supply specifically: - More can be done to improve WASH in schools and health centres, particularly in rural areas. Only 19 of 93 surveyed countries have national policies on drinking water in schools that are being funded and implemented. - Only 23% of 93 surveyed countries reported a high level of implementation of measures to keep rural water supplies functioning over the long-term. - Drinking-water quality surveillance is far greater in urban areas: nearly 70% of countries report surveillance in urban areas compared to only 40% in rural areas. - Household expenditure for access and use of WASH services in the form of tariffs (i.e. payments to service providers) and self-supply (out-of-pocket expenses) has previously been recognized as a knowledge gap in WASH financing. - It is acknowledged that some of the 19 surveyed countries are likely under-reporting household contributions, especially in rural areas that may not be served by a formal service provider, and where households may make significant non-monetary investments. - Rural populations in 19 countries surveyed represent 71% of the unserved, but benefit from only 19% of the expenditures for sanitation and drinking-water. 75% of WASH aid is targeted towards urban areas. - Basic WASH services receive a lower proportion of overall aid for water and sanitation than for large systems. - Spending of funds allocated for rural water in 67 countries has increased from 42% in 2011 to 60% in 2013, which is marginally higher than urban water and sanitation (rural and urban). Countries cite procurement and disbursement procedure complexity and delays as the top two reasons for under-utilization of donor commitments, while donors cite limited national capacity and operational delays. - Less than 25% of WASH aid is targeted towards maintaining existing services. | »


WEDC Distance Learning Scholarships available NOW! Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

For the following postgraduate courses starting in January 2015: PG Certificate in Water and Environmental Management A four module programme which enables you to develop knowledge, expertise and skills in all aspects of water, sanitation and environmental management. Course entry requirements - UK Lower Second Class Honours degree or equivalent - Recognised English Language qualification, (for example IELTS of 6.5), see:http://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/englang/index.htm PG Certificate in Water and Waste Engineering A four module programme which enables you to develop knowledge, expertise and skills in all aspects of sustainable public health infrastructure and services, for all levels of consumer. Course entry requirements - UK Upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in a science, engineering or relevant discipline - Recognised English Language qualification, (for example IELTS of 6.5), see:http://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/englang/index.htm | »


Realising the human rights to water and sanitation: A Handbook by the UN Special Rapporteur, Catarina de Albuquerque

The outgoing UN Special Rappporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, will be launching her Handbook in Geneva on the occasion of her final reporting session to the Human Rights Council in September. The Handbook will be launched on 10 September, in Room XXVII at Palais des Nations, Geneva, hosted by The Permanent Missions of Germany and Spain to the United Nations in Geneva and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right. Everyone welcome! The Handbook will simultaneously be made available online, on Catarina's own website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/WaterAndSanitation/SRWater/Pages/SRWaterIndex.aspx, and on the righttowater.info website. There will be second launch in New York at the end of October, and including the launch of Arabic, French, Spanish and Portuguese versions of the Handbook. Dates and times to be confirmed. For more information contact Virginia Roaf: virginiaroaf@gmail.com or handbook@hr2ws.org | »


The Politics of Professionalism Word from the Chair

We are all professionals; you the members of RWSN are rural water supply professionals. You all work for different stakeholders, governments, NGOs or private sector. You all work at different levels: community, local government, national or international cooperation. We all have one thing in common: a professional background and enthusiasm for rural water supply. Some come from a more engineering perspective; some come from a management, social science or governance perspective. Professionals do not operate in isolation. What happens with rural water supplies is influenced by decision-makers in Ministries, by political leaders, influential leaders at a local level, community organisations and others. Many water supply professionals work in a decentralised environment. Sometime decisions are taken that professionals consider as counterproductive. For example: when funding is not targeted to those in greatest need; or when government is too slow to act, or if political leader promise things that contradict existing policies, plans or approaches. During a training that I facilitated some years ago, an engineer working for the Public Health Engineering department in one of the states in India lamented about: “…when local government talks and decides about things it does not know anything about”. The balance between professionals and decision-makers is delicate. These people live in different worlds – even using different languages and vocabulary – but they must come together and respect each other’s perspectives and positions. In many countries, professionals in water supply struggle with decision makers and vice-versa. Cooperation needs to get better: building trust, respecting positions and professional expertise, listening carefully and having the spaces for discussion and exchange. It is the only way – now and then it will be cumbersome and frustrating, but it is the only show in town. Professionalism and politics have to live together. But in the end, and to be honest, it is nice to be a professional and it is good to be proud of the profession and stand up for it; all the rest will follow from understanding and wisdom. At the World Water Week in Stockholm this year, Stef Smits, representing the RWSN, will present a case on the politics of professionalism. If you are at the conference, come and join this seminar organised by the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) initiative on Monday 1st September 2014 from 17:45 to 18:45 in Room T2. Ton Schouten, Chair | »

Featured Publications


RWSN Themes

Get Involved with