26.10.2015 - 30.10.2015

Water and Health 2015 University of North Carolina • Chapel Hill, USA

12.10.2015 - 30.10.2015

Reducing Inequalities in WASH // Réduire les inégalités en matière d’AEPHA : ENDI Webinars & e-discussion // annonce d’échanges électroniques et de webinaires • Online (Webex & Dgroups)

09.12.2015 - 11.12.2015

Water Security Conference 2015 REACH: improving water security for the poor • University of Oxford, UK

News • Announcements


RWSN at Stockholm World Water Week

RWSN and UPGro will have stand and networking area at this year's Stockholm World Water Week (23-29 August). If you are there, please come along and join in the conversation as we ask the question - what do the Sustainable Development Goals mean for groundwater use and management in Africa? You can meet a number of the UPGro researchers and also find out how their research can benefit your work. Also on the stand we will have a number of facilitated discussions and resources on a range of rural water supply and groundwater topics - not least the Cost Effective Boreholes collaboration between Unicef, WaterAid and Skat to professionalise water well drilling. You can find us at stand B9 , which we also highlights the activities of other RWSN and UPGro partners. | »


Investment in rural water supply delivers results Briefing on key findings from the Joint Monitoring Programme 2015 report1 relating to rural water supply

New figures from the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) of UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that most countries have achieved substantial progress towards achieving universal access to water for their citizens. “The number of people without access in rural areas has decreased by over half a billion” (1990-2015) 17 Countries achieved 100% improved access (1990 - 2015) in rural areas: American Samoa, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, Romania, Tokelau, Tonga and Turkey. Good progress in most regions but Oceania lags behind and Sub-Saharan Africa has little piped-on-premises improvement | »


Collecting Water With Roads – ground-breaking research wins Global Environment Award Collecte de l'eau avec des routes - la recherche avant-gardiste remporte le Prix mondial pour l'environnement

Water is short in many places but roads are everywhere – and when it rains it is often along these roads that most water runs, as roads unknowingly either serve as dike or a drain. By harvesting the water with these roads, water shortage can be overcome and impacts of climate change can be mitigated. This was the idea behind the UPGro Catalyst Grant research , project undertaken in 2013-2014 in Tigray Regional State in Ethiopia. The research looked at ways and means of collecting water with the roads – from culverts, drains, borrow pits, road surface, river crossings, as these have massive impact on how rain run-off moves across a landscape. The idea then scaled up quickly – in 2014 the Tigray Government implemented road water harvesting activities in all its districts. The results have been spectacular in increased water tables, better soil moisture, reduced erosion from roads, less local flooding and moreover much better crop yields. It is for this project that MetaMeta of the Netherlands, together with its partners Mekelle University and Tigray Government have been awarded this week the prestigious Global Road Achievement Award for Environmental Mitigation by the International Roads Federation. Among the other award winners are the people who are constructing one of the world‘s largest bridges in China. The potential to scale up the use of water with roads is enormous - with every area having its own solutions. There is also a compelling economic case: harvesting water with roads if done well greatly reduces water damage to roads. The scaling up of the concept is now being undertaken with support of the Global Resilience Partnership (supported by USAID, Rockefeller Foundation and SIDA), where MetaMeta with its partners are a Stage 2 winner. Programmes to collect the water from the roads are being undertaken in more areas now – such as in Amhara Regional State, where it is part of the massive programme to prepare for the expected El Niño climate event. More than two million people are being mobilised for water harvesting activities, including from the roads. | »


Launch of REACH A global research programme to improve water security for millions of poor people in Asia and Africa

REACH is a seven-year, global programme of research (2015-2022) led by Oxford University and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) that aims to improve water security for over 2.5 million poor people by 2022. As a Research into Action partner, the Rural Water Supply Network will support the design and implementation of the programme’s communications strategy, supporting the uptake of the research findings and ensuring that they translate into positive policy and practice outcomes. | »


It all starts with knowing! Tout commence avec le savoir!

Dear Members, There is a lot of attention for monitoring, and rightfully so. New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have opened great possibilities to collect data, store data and visualise data on mobile phones. Maybe some of you already have used mobile phones for data collection. New ICT has brought national scale sector monitoring within reach. It has been done in Liberia, countries in Central America, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Ethiopia and many others. Has it resulted in improved water services? Time is too short to say something meaningful about that, but from experience in the above countries you could already say something. First of all how powerful the collection of water supply data is in particular for local government staff. Going around and knowing the actual status of water supply is a great incentive for taking action. However, taking action is not always easy; financial and human resources at local government level often are constrained to address the problems revealed by the data. However, data needs to be updated as the situation on the ground changes. In some of the above countries nothing happened for four or five years after the first national scale data collection. That is a pity because up to date data helps to better plan, to prioritise investments better and to systematically address the problems revealed by the data. And that is what monitoring is about! Regularly collecting and analysing data and then using them to fulfill responsibilities and mandates …. and improve water service delivery. There is still work to be done to turn one-off data collection into monitoring systems that support planning and decision making. Maybe before starting an initiative to collect national scale data one should consider whether the one-off data collection will be repeated, how and by whom, whether the data really addresses the issues that in particular local government staff needs to address, who will pay for the second round. It would also be a good habit to build such an initiative on past initiatives and the monitoring lessons learned in the country. So there is work to do to turn one-off data collection into a monitoring system. But it is crucial work because how can you improve water services if you do not know the status of the services? It all starts with knowing! Ton Schouten, Chair | »

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