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Self-supply for safely managed water: To promote or to deter? Policy Brief

For centuries, households have survived and thrived relying on simple, self-supplied drinking water sourced mainly from ground water that is self-financed and self-managed by individual households. With proper point-of-use treatment such as boiling or filtering, alongside appropriate source protection, self-supply may provide households with safely managed water. However, since domestic groundwater use is often unregulated and unmonitored, several risks may be present. These risks, in both rural and urban areas, include faecal contamination, seasonal variability and over-extraction. With the demand for safe drinking water ever increasing, should selfsupply
water be promoted or deterred? If so, what is the role of government and other stakeholders in ensuring a sustainable future for drinking water supply combined with groundwater conservation? | »

Enhancing Frontline Provider Collaboration to Improve Rural Water Sustainability Operational Lessons from Indonesia’s Community-Led Water Supply Project—PAMSIMAS

This policy brief improves our understanding of the actions that projects can undertake to harness community participation to improve the long-term sustainability of infrastructure investments. We use panel data and qualitative assessments from Indonesia’s PAMSIMAS to provide evidence on how some communities are able to manage and sustain the functionality of their water systems for over 6 years while others face the tyranny of build-neglect-rehabilitate. | »

Global prospects to deliver safe drinking water services for 100 million rural people by 2030 REACH working paper 12

The climate crisis and global pandemic have accelerated the urgency of providing safe
drinking water services around the world. Global progress to safe drinking water is
off-track with uncertain and limited data on the extent and performance of rural water
service providers to inform policy and investment decisions. This report documents
a global diagnostic survey to evaluate the status and prospects of rural water service
providers from 68 countries. The service providers describe providing drinking water
services to a population of around 15 million people through over 3 million waterpoints.

The data provides information on the scale and sustainability of rural water services to
examine:
• The extent and type of professional water service provision in rural areas globally;
• Self-reported metrics of operational and financial performance; and,
• The size and scope of current rural service providers that could transition to resultsbased
funding.

Five major findings emerge. First, most service providers aim to repair broken
infrastructure in three days or less. Second, almost all service providers reported at least
one type of water safety activity. Third, most service providers collect payments for water
services. Fourth, about one third of service providers reported major negative shocks to
their operations from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifth, non-governmental service providers
in low income countries less often report receiving subsidies for operations, and more
often report paying part of user fees to government, including through taxes.
Most rural water service providers are working towards provision of affordable, safe and
reliable drinking water services. Key barriers to progress include sustainable funding
and delivery of services at scale. We propose four conditions to promote scale and
sustainability based on policy alignment, public finance, professional service delivery,
and verifiable data. To illustrate these conditions, we consider the differing context and
service delivery approaches in the Central African Republic and Bangladesh. We conclude
by identifying a group of 77 service providers delivering water services for about 5 million
people in 28 countries. These 77 service providers report operational metrics consistent
with a results-based contracting approach. Technical assistance might support many
more to progress. We argue that government support and investment is needed to
rapidly progress to the scale of 100 million people to provide evidence of pathways to
universal drinking water services for billions more. | »

Solar pumping for rural water supply: life-cycle costs from eight countries 40th WEDC International Conference

Although interest in solar water pumping has been steadily growing, misconceptions persist about the applicability and cost-effectiveness of such systems in remote settings. The primary barrier to wide scale adoption of solar water pumping is that policy makers and practitioners at the local, national and international levels lack valid and transparent information on performance in a broad range of contexts and of the full life-cycle costs. In an attempt to fill this information gap, this paper presents upfront and recurring costs from 85 rural solar water pumping schemes of various sizes that have been designed, constructed and supported by Water Mission in eight countries. The average life-cycle costs associated with the reviewed schemes were within and on the lower end of IRC WASHCost benchmark ranges for both piped water schemes and boreholes fitted with handpumps. These findings indicate solar pumping is a viable and cost-effective intervention for rural water supply. | »

Multi-Village Pooling Project in Indonesia Handbook for Community-Based Water Supply Organizations

The book discusses basic concepts on key topics to managing a small piped water system ideally for up to 1,000 households. It presents tools that can be adapted by Community-Based Water Organizations (CBOs) for use in their operations, such as forms, checklists and procedural guidelines. Illustrative examples have also been compiled from the experiences of the district local governments, support organizations and CBOs operating in East and West Java, who participated in the Multi-Village Pooling (MVP) Project. This toolkit seeks to compile a set of ready resources for organizations supporting Indonesian CBOs and CBOs themselves, which was not previously available despite many years of rural water investment projects. The book introduces fundamental concepts in an easy to-understand way, so that a number of discussions have been simplified. This will give users a basic understanding enough to seek further resources or references or advice from experts, which is encouraged.

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-RWSN publication and endorsement by RWSN or any of its member organisations should not be inferred. | »

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