Within RWSN to date, the main technologies developed and promoted for Self-supply have tapped groundwater (i.e. hand dug wells and boreholes with various pumps). Given the increased recognition that rainwater harvesting also has considerable potential, and success stories (e.g. in Uganda and Thailand) this strategy has a particular focus on rainwater. Over the coming three years, RWSN will build up a community for rainwater harvesting and promote good practices. The emphasis is on domestic use, but includes rainwater harvesting for agriculture. Not all water sources improved incrementally will immediately provide safe water. Thus there is need to consider household water treatment options within Self-supply, key aspects of water safety planning and quality assurance for products and services. Closer collaboration with the household water treatment and safe storage network will be established.
Not all technologies are applicable for every context and even apparently “clever” technologies can fail if they are not appropriate, or are not introduced to the market properly. The Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) is a method for assessing the applicability of technologies for a given context. It was developed and tested by three RWSN partner organisations (IRC, Skat and WaterAid) together with organisations in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda and has subsequently been applied in Tanzania, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Using the TAF at the early stage of product development can help to identify bottlenecks that would hinder the uptake of a technology in a context and identify mitigation measures.
For technical reasons the dedicated website www.washtechnologies.net had to be switched off but Skat is looking for partners to develop and new online portal for the TAF. In the meantime, all the available manuals and templates are available to download from the RWSN online library.