Poor people in developing countries need water for many purposes: for drinking, bathing, irrigating vegetable gardens, and watering livestock. However, responsibility for water services is divided between different government agencies, the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and irrigation sub-sectors, with the result that people's holistic needs are not met. Multiple use water services (MUS) is a participatory water services approach that takes account of poor people's multiple water needs as a starting point of planning, and the approach has been implemented in at least 22 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Scaling up Multiple Use Water Services argues that by designing cost-effective multi-purpose infrastructure MUS can have a positive impact on people's health and livelihoods. It analyses and explains the success factors of MUS, using a framework of accountability for public service delivery, and it also examines why there has been resistance against scaling up MUS. A stronger service delivery approach can overcome this resistance, by rewarding more livelihood outcomes, by fostering discretionary decision-making power of local-level staff and by allowing horizontal coordination.This book should be read by government and aid agency policy makers in the WASH and agriculture sectors, by development field workers, and by academics, researchers and students of international development.
A mix of secondary and primary research was conducted to examine the hypothesis that access to an at-house water supply will deliver significantly greater health, social and economic benefits than those derived from a shared public water supply. The research was carried out by a team from the University of Leeds, University of North Carolina, University of East Anglia, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London, and was based on a mix of literature review and field-base case studies. Fieldwork was carried out in three countries; Ghana, South Africa and Vietnam and used a mix of data collection methods, specifically a three-part household questionnaire, which included anthropometric measures and the measurement of water collection journeys, natural group discussions, and contextual checklists.
The headline conclusion from the research is that at-home water supply has significant, measurable benefits when compared with shared water supply outside the home provided that the service provided is reliable enough to ensure access to adequate quantities of water when required. Reliable at-home water supply results in higher volumes of water consumed, greater practice of key hygiene behaviours, a reduction in musculo-skeletal impacts associated with carrying water from outside the home, and improved water quality. This suggests a logical policy shift towards the promotion of reliable household access as the international benchmark for water supply.
Report by B. Evans, J. Bartram, P. Hunter, A.R. Williams, J.A. Geere, B. Majuru, L. Bates, M. Fisher, A. Overbo, W.P. Schmidt available on DFID's Research for Development site.
Presentation on the outcomes of the CGIAR-CPWF action research project looking into multiple-use of water in floodplains. Ecosystem benefit analysis showed that improving practices in rice-fish production through communal management increased the agro-ecological resilience.
Powerpoint presentation by Kazumi Yamaoka, International Network for Water and Ecosystems in paddy fields (INWEPF), given at the World Water Forum in Turkey, 2009.
H. Furihata: Multiple Functions of Water Management in Paddy Fields
Water for agriculture in the paddy area of Asia monsoon regions is not just considered as an economic resource of individual farmers, but is thought to be a common resource shared by a whole rural community and a part of the people's lives. Paddy field irrigation has characteristics not only of negative externalities but also of positive externalities, such as flood prevention and ground water recharge. This paper introduces the multiple uses and functions of water for agriculture in the paddy area of Asia monsoon regions. It maps the high value generated from paddy farming in Asian countries and how this is critical for many communities in addressing the challenges of "Food security and Poverty Alleviation" and "Sustainable Water Use". [authors abstract]