M. Adank, B. Belete, M. Jeths: Costs and benefits of multiple uses of water: a case from Ethiopia
This paper presents a study conducted under the RiPPLE project1, with the objective to provide better insight in the costs and benefits of multiple use water services. In this study, the costs related to the provision of water services and the benefits related to water use were analysed for two cases in the East Haraghe zone, Ethiopia, each taking a different path towards multiple use services. In the Ido Jalala case, domestic water supply services were upgraded to enable small-scale irrigation, while in the Ifa Daba case, irrigation services were upgrades to also cater for domestic water use. In both cases, water was used for multiple uses by the community members, regardless of the water services provided. The study shows that in the studied cases, the benefits of multiple use easily outweigh the costs involved in providing water services. It also shows that with relatively small additional costs, single use water services can be upgraded to multiple use water services, which facilitate multiple uses, bringing along relatively high additional benefits. [authors abstract]
Powerpoint presentation by Stef Smits, IRC, given at the Thematic Group Meeting in London, 2007.
A paper presented by Joep Verhagen, IRC. This case study argues that predominant focus of the MUS-group should be widened to include MUS in urban areas. The study found that (a) an inadequate water supply leads to a considerable loss of income especially for women and (b) that water is being used for productive uses in a large number of urban livelihoods. However, considering the large number of institutions involved in urban water supply, projects to improve urban water supply will be only successful when all stakeholders are involved in the project. For more info see http://www.musgroup.net/page/634
A powerpoint presented by Labahari Budhathoki, Nepal Water and Health (NEWAH) on the approach of NEWAH towards promoting kitchen gardens alongside water supply in Nepal.
A powerpoint presented by Stef Smits on a framework of linkages between sanitation, wastewater and livelihoods
This powerpoint presentation by Tom Slaymaker (ODI) aimed to show how sectoral debates relating to MUS can be linked to wider debates on ‘pro-growth’ and ‘livelihood protection and promotion’. The linkages between water livelihoods and growth is one of three major focus areas for the forthcoming ‘RiPPLE’ research program. Recent scoping work in Ethiopia explored the nature of the water-livelihood-growth relationship at micro, meso and macro levels and highlighted the issue of risk and vulnerability as a major constraint to growth in Ethiopia. Chronic poverty and food insecurity are prevalent in many low income countries and have important implications for the design of water sector interventions. To-date debates within the MUS group have tended to focus on livelihood benefits in terms of income poverty but our understanding of the role of MUS in helping poor households mitigate risk and vulnerability remains limited. Macro level growth debates tend to centre on issues of market access and asset inequality but we know very little about the relative importance of inequalities in water access vis-à-vis other forms of asset inequality (e.g. education, health, roads). Improved understanding of the linkages between MUS livelihoods and growth has potentially important implications for targeting and sequencing investment across sectors.
A recent Stockholm Environment Institute research project has looked at the patterns of domestic water use in rural and peri-urban areas in Vietnam, with a particular focus on micro enterprises undertaken in and around the household using domestic water supplies. The study took place in 7 provinces across Vietnam and involved over 100 households. The overall approach was based on conventional rapid participatory appraisal techniques, and included the use of interviews with key informants and households, focus group discussions, field observations and documentary analysis.
The study found that water had a significant role in productive activity in and around the home, both in production for household consumption and for income generation. The majority of households surveyed had a vegetable garden and/or were raising some type of livestock, usually pigs. Some of this food production was clearly for household consumption, thus increasing households’ food security, but some household crops were being cultivated exclusively for sale in the village market. Most families with more than 2 pigs were also selling pork.
Water was also crucial to other home-based income-generating activities (IGAs), particularly for those undertaken by female members of the household. The most common household IGA observed was the production of food products, and these enterprises were generally run primarily – and often entirely – by the women of the extended household. In many cases, the male head of household and older sons worked outside the household area, either farming or as wage labourers; working on their own, the women were able to produce food items for sale while having sufficient time to raise children and take care of the household domestic needs. This pattern held true in both rural and peri-urban areas and means that these activities are of great significance in gender as well as livelihoods terms.
Service-based businesses also offered specific benefits to female household members. A motorbike washing business in a peri-urban area of Thai Binh illustrated the advantages of this type of micro enterprise, both in terms of how it meshed with child-rearing and other household demands and with respect to the low level of investment and skills required. The female owner of the business washed five motorbikes in a typical day, noting it was something she did in her spare time; for start-up, all she had needed was a pump (for drawing water from the river), soap and an air pressure hose (for drying the bikes). The woman estimated her daily profit at VND10,000-15,000 (US$0.62-0.94): a significant sum of money to her, and earned from only an hour or two of work a day.
While many of these IGAs were not seen as sources of prosperity for rural households (in contrast, for example, to farming shrimp and fish, working in the city, or having equipment and machinery to run larger businesses), people did believe the additional income was essential to household security. There were also instances in which IGAs had been used to generate sufficient investment capital for households to move into more lucrative businesses. One family in Thai Binh, for example, had used profits from raising pork and producing rice wine to save enough money to join with two other families in buying a car for a taxi service. This family’s experience thus illustrates how water-dependent small-scale enterprise can serve as a ladder out of poverty.
From: ‘Productive uses of domestic water: a household-level study from Vietnam’ by Stacey Noel, John Soussan and Nguyen Phuong Thao. To be published in 'Sustainable Development of Water Resources, Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation: Proceedings of the 32nd WEDC Conference', November 2006. Contact Stacey Noel at the Stockholm Environment Institute for more information
A powerpoint presented bu Rajindra de S Ariyabandu on sustaining secure water for rural communities: prospects for Future?
A powerpoint presented by Isabel Dominguez, Cinara Institute Universidad del Valle on June 12th, 2006 on case studies about multiple use of water from Colombia.
This report present the findings of a case study on the productive use of water in urban areas that was carried out in the low-income neighbourhoods of Bhuj, Gujarat in Western India.