Access to safe and sustainable water supplies is essential to improving the health and livelihoods of the more than two billion people in developing countries living in absolute poverty (HDR, 2010). Poor populations need water for a variety of uses that range from drinking, hygiene, and sanitation to food production and income generation. Existing approaches to water service delivery usually focus on providing water for a single use — typically for drinking or irrigation. Not surprisingly, people tend to use this water for all their needs. They use water meant for domestic consumption in their gardens, for their livestock, or for other small-scale enterprises. They use irrigation systems for drinking, bathing, or washing clothes. These unplanned uses can create unintended yet often dire consequences—overuse of domestic systems can lead to conflict and breakage of equipment while domestic use of irrigation systems spreads disease. Providing single-use water services misses a valuable opportunity to improve the lives of poor people at little added cost.
Winrock’s Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) is an innovative and holistic approach to sustainable water delivery that seeks to provide water services that reflect the multiple water needs of poor households. This approach is the platform for planning, financing, and managing integrated water services that improve the health and livelihoods of poor people.
More info: http://www.winrock.org/iip/innovation_incubator/water/multiple-use_services.asp
Produced by: Winrock International