Tool 16


Collect and analyse information on the lifecycle costs related to the provision of multiple use water services.

As part of the Life-Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA), spearheaded by the WASHCost Project, a methodology has been developed for costing sustainable Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services. This methodology can be applied to analyse the (incremental) costs for Multiple-Use Water services.


Collect and analyse information on the life-cycle costs related to the provision of multiple use water services.


The main data collection tools for collecting life-cycle cost information are:

Household survey

As the main source of information on household expenditure on water and sanitation, household surveys also provide insight to a household’s poverty level. Surveys are at the heart of getting a detailed and statistically valid understanding of key issues linked to access and use of MUS, expenditure and household contributions to maintaining and increasing service levels. As part of the survey, users are linked to the water system(s) facilities they make use of. If required, household surveys may also be designed to capture time spent by members of the household on accessing MUS.

Technical survey

A technical survey can also provide clarity on specific cost information located across the entire chain of water delivery/access, particularly on Capital Expenditure and Capital Maintenance Expenditure.

Specific research

Specific research is conducted to obtain data on life-cycle cost information in the form of semi- / structured interviews and by gathering documents (such as contracts and project completion reports) which contain costs data. It entails a mix of several research methods, for instance conducting Key Informant Interviews (KII) with service providers and service authorities (for instance government officials involved in planning, district water engineers or area mechanics). During interviews, documents with cost information may also be collected from the study’s informant and/or s/he may help in identifying sources of existing cost data.

Official government data

Official government data can be collected by contacting regional and national governmental agencies involved in water service delivery. Government data provides information on direct and indirect support costs and expenditure on salaries and administration costs for planning, policy, and decision making at intermediate and national level.


WASHCost, 2011. Working with the Life-Cycle Cost Approach data collection tools, WASHCost Project. Available at: