RWSN Themes

Sustainable Groundwater Development for Rural Water Supplies

Groundwater is playing an ever important role for drinking water supplies, particularly in rural areas. In many countries, there has been a switch from using unprotected surface water to protected groundwater. Groundwater is fairly ubiquitous, but its conditions vary enormously and exploitation is often undertaken with limited understanding of hydrogeology and without sufficient evaluation of the resource, especially in developing counties. The days when pumps could be installed without considering the groundwater resource are over. Groundwater scarcity and pollution are becoming a major concern in some places. There are regions where groundwater quality is not fit for human consumption due to a high level of arsenic, fluoride, iron or nitrates and there is need for professionalism and vigilance to ensure that infrastructure is built to last, and that borehole provision is cost-effective. Basically, without proper drilling supervision, and quality pumps, universal access to a safe drinking water supply will never be met. RWSN’s Sustainable Groundwater Development theme sets out to ensure that goundwater resources are properly considered and sustainably used for developing drinking water supply sources.

Topics

Guidance

Code of practice and associated guidelines (RWSN)

English
Code of Practice for Cost-Effective Boreholes
Siting of Drilled Water Wells - A Guide for Project Managers
Procurement and Contract Management of Drilled Well Construction - A Guide for Supervisors and Project Managers
Supervising Water Well Drilling A guide for supervisors
Costing and Pricing - A Guide for Water Well Drilling Enterprises
Sustainable Groundwater Development: use, protect and enhance
Français
Code de bonnes pratiques pour la réalisation de forages
Implantation des forages - Guide à l’intention des chefs de projet
Passation de marchés et gestion des contrats de construction de forages - Guide à l’intention des superviseurs et chefs de projet
Supervision des forages d’eau potable Guide à l’intention des superviseurs
Analyse des coûts et détermination des prix Guide à l’intention des entreprises de forage d’eau
Développement de l’accès durable à l’eau souterraine: utilisation, protection, amélioration
Português
Procurement & Gestão de Contratos de Construção de Furos de Água:  Um Guião para Fiscais e Gestores de Projectos
Fiscalização de Furos de Água: Um guião para Fiscais
Cálculo de Custos e Preço: Guião para Empresas de Furos de Água

Manual Drilling Toolkit (UNICEF/Practica/Enterprise Works/VITA)

Toolkit for the Profesionalization of Manual Drilling in Africa

Handpump Standards (RWSN)

International standards for the public domain handpumps

Learning materials

Webinar recordings (2015)

English

Français

Manual Drilling – a global perspective of local realities

Le forage manuel - points de vue internationaux sur les réalités locales

Groundwater Resources and Supplies in Africa

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Groundwater Governance

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Effective procurement and contract management

Renforcer l'efficacité des processus de passation de marchés et de gestion des contrats

Drilling supervision is no longer in fashion – the funders save; the users pay

La supervision des forages est passée de mode - les bailleurs de fonds économisent; les usagers en paient le prix

Webinar recordings (2014)

E-discussion summaries

RWSN Publications

Drilling Professionalisation

Countries

Get Involved

Links & Resources

History

The Sustainable Groundwater Development theme has the longest history in RWSN, building on:


Related Resources

What’s Working, Where, and for How Long

A 2016 Water Point Update to the RWSN (2009) statistics

• An average of 78% of water points are functional across the 11 countries analyzed.

• The high failure rates early after installation are troubling: almost 15% after one year and 25% of water points are non-functional by their fourth year after installation. This indicates widespread problems with poor quality water point installation, due to a range of problems that may include professionalism and skills around contracts, construction and supervision; borehole siting; lack of quality control of hardware; or lack of post-construction monitoring and problem resolution.

• Handpumps are often singled out as technology that fails, but analysis of other water point types show similar functionality levels, and that tens of thousands of handpumps are providing a service

This poster was peer-reviewed and presented at the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan, Cote'Ivoire 2016.

It replaces "Handpump Data 2009 Selected Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa" (2009) | more information »

Proceedings of the 7th RWSN Forum

29 Nov - 2 Dec 2016, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

The 2016 Rural Water Supply Network Forum in Abidjan was the first global gathering to consider the practical challenge of how everyone worldwide can get access to safe, affordable water by 2030. It was also the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country, in the 25 years since the creation of the network.
The Forum gathered 467 rural water sector practitioners from over 300 organisations from 64 countries in Africa, Asia, Americas, and Europe, in a bilingual (English/French) four day event. It was opened by the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Daniel Kaplan Duncan. We were joined by HE State Minster James Dengchol Tot, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, as well as a delegation from AMCOW.

This Forum proceedings compiles all peer-reviewed materials. Separate downloads and links to the films can be found at: https://rwsn7.net/content/ | more information »

SDC Guideline for sustainable groundwater resource management

Swiss Humanitarian Aid Reports and Papers (SHARP Series: GW/2016/1)

The main objective of the present guideline is to ensure the protection of groundwater intended for human consumption. Consequently, it is mainly focused on the protection of groundwater sources (e.g. pumping well, tapped springs). However, although the protection of sensitive areas for drinking water supply must be given high priority, good practices have to be implemented at a larger scale too, in order to sustain the resources as well as the aquatic ecosystems: awareness must be built in order to avoid any contamination of the water cycle (quality aspect) and to preserve water resources (quantity aspect), in particular within the aquifer areas | more information »

Rural Water Supply Network - Annual Report 2016

Enabling practitioners, professionals and ultimately water users to make informed decisions on how to improve and maintain access to safe water in rural areas.

The focus for the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) in 2016 was preparing for, and managing the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 29th November to 2nd December with the title “Water for Everyone”. This was the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country in the 25 years since the creation of the network.

Throughout 2016 specific in-country activities included a short-course on Procurement, Contract Management and Costing and Pricing in Zambia and a participative analysis of Manual Drilling in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Workshops organized by the World Bank in Bangkok and Lima on sustainable services drew together government agencies in both regions. Key lessons from both events fed into the RWSN Forum under the RWSN Theme “Sustainable Services”.

RWSN continued to work on strengthening the links between research and practice on groundwater by disseminating the outputs from UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) research to the RWSN membership as well as fostering direct linkages between groundwater experts and water supply professionals. | more information »

An Evaluation of the BluePump in Kenya and Gambia

This report presents the results of an evaluation of the Fairwater BluePump, an emerging rural water supply technology in sub-Saharan Africa. Claims about the BluePump’s durability and minimal maintenance requirements have provoked significant interest within the rural water sector. This evaluation set out to assess the suitability of the BluePump as a rural water supply technology, taking into account its operational performance, the experiences of water users, the views of local stakeholders, and the broader contextual factors that impinge upon its sustainability. | more information »

Professional Water Well Drilling

A UNICEF Guidance Note

This guidance note provides practical guidance for organisations and individuals that are trying to raise the professionalism of groundwater development in Africa. The guidance note is mainly concerned with rural and small towns’ water supplies but is mindful of the huge challenges faced by supplies in many growing African cities dealing with problems of groundwater quantity and quality.

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21914.64964 | more information »

Quality Assurance of Unicef Drilling Programes for Boreholes in Malawi

Consultancy Services

This review was commissioned by UNICEF to snapshot the current effectiveness of procurement and field processes related to the drilling, the role of the district councils in these implementation processes and indeed the quality of the finished water point products. This with an objective of identifying weaknesses and remedying them in future programmes. | more information »

Developing Groundwater: A guide for rural water supply

In many rural areas, groundwater is the only feasible way of providing safe, reliable water supplies. However, developing groundwater is not always straightforward. To meet the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals, more attention needs to be paid to finding and developing groundwater in a sustainable, cost-effective and participatory manner. Developing Groundwater provides a user-friendly guide to this key topic, bringing together for the first time the wide range of techniques required to develop groundwater for community water supplies. This practical manual gives information on effective techniques for siting wells and boreholes, assessing the sustainability of sources, constructing and testing the yield of boreholes and wells, and monitoring groundwater quality. The authors set the technical aspects of rural water supply firmly in their socio-economic context, so that readers can take proper account of community concerns as well as purely engineering questions. Packed with helpful illustrations this book is indispensable for all rural water supply project staff in developing countries.

Alan MacDonald is a hydrogeologist at the British Geological Survey. He has worked extensively in Africa, Asia and the Pacific in partnership with government departments, NGOs, research institutes and rural communities. Much of his work has focused on the practical issues of developing groundwater resources for rural water supply.

1) Go to http://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/book/10.3362/9781780441290
2) Each chapter is downloadable separately from the Table of Contents on this page. Click on “PDF ({file size} kb)” under each chapter heading.
3) The PDF of the chapter should appear in your browser, then download or save the PDF to your computer or device. | more information »

Strengthening the Domestic Drilling Industry

Lessons from the Mozambique

Improving water supply in rural areas of Mozambique continues to be a major challenge. The highly dispersed rural population and difficult hydrogeology make even the most basic level of service--a borehole with a hand pump—accessible to only about half of the rural population. Even when basic access is available, 17.1 percent
of hand pumps are out of service at any one time, rising to nearly 30 percent in the Northern provinces.

With the support of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), water drillers in Mozambique began tackling this challenge through the creation of the Mozambique Drilling Association (APM). As the first of its kind, the association introduced several key initiatives to boost the capacity of drillers and to strengthen their voice to the government. The purpose of this learning note is to share lessons learned from WSP’s support to APM and to highlight additional areas of growth and development for the association. | more information »

Assessing the Risk to Groundwater from On-Site Sanitation

Guidelines for

There has been encouraging progress with access to safe drinking water and sanitation in both rural and urban areas since the United Nations Water Decade of the 1980s. However, more than 1 billion people around the world still lack access to safe water supplies and more than 2.4 billion are without adequate sanitation. A substantial majority of these people live in Asia where the lack of sanitation provision is particularly acute. In Africa, over one third of the population still remains without access to safe water and sanitation, and many of these can only be served by groundwater. The need for renewed efforts to improve the situation is recognised in DFID's recently published water strategy paper - ''Addressing the Water Crisis - Healthier and More Productive Lives for Poor People''.

These guidelines are an important contribution to risk assessment and the avoidance of the contamination of groundwater supplies from on-site sanitation. They have been development as part of a project funded by DFID through the water component of the Infrastructure and Urban Development Division's Knowledge and Research Programme. | more information »