This document aims to provide a practical guide for planning, developing and manageing water supply systems that meet the multiple water needs of people that live in rural communities. They aim to broaden the perspective about the available options to provide water in terms of sources, technologies and to introduce strategies to incorporate Cleaner Production and efficient water use options for the different activities of rural communities. They also include a discussion on aspects related to management, costs and tariffs for mus systems.
These guidelines are the result of a process developed in a participatory way through Learning Alliances in Colombia. It is expected that these guidelines will contribute to incorporate innovative approaches to formulate policies and regulations for rural water supply systems in Colombia where 73% of the rural households are engaged in agricultural activities (DANE, 2005). They aspire to contribute to changing the sectoral approach that characterising the current planning processes related to water in Colombia, and that make it difficult to satisfy in an integrated way the needs of people
In rural settlements, water from water supply systems is used by households for both domestic and small scale productive activities. However, during planning, designing and management of these systems, this reality is being ignored, and as a result, agencies promote services which do not make it possible to properly develop activities that contribute to peoples incomes. It also endangers service sustainability. The multiple uses of water approach is considered a strategy to implement Integrated Water Resources Management at the local level. It promotes a change in paradigm towards planning and management of water supply systems for both human consumption ,small scale irrigation and micro-enterprises. This way, systems can work according to the needs and the context of the people living in rural communities and give people access to integrated and sustainable solutions as well as water.
Water supply systems for rural communities in Colombia are designed from an urban perspective that neglects use of water for domestic and small scale productive activities that contribute to the family income. While systems are being used for multiple purposes, policies, laws and regulations for planning, design, management, operation and maintenance are oriented to the purpose of providing drinking water for human consumption.
Ignoring these multiple demands, systems are designed with allocations lower than those really required, water needs exceed the capacity of the infrastructure and this leads to a lack of continuity in supply, reduction of the service levels, and conflicts between users and between users and service administrators.
This note aims to create awareness about the multiple water needs of rural people and is targeted at people working on planning and developing services for supplying water. It aims to broaden perceptions on alternative ways to supply waters in terms of sources and technologies, and to present strategies to introduce Cleaner Production options for domestic and small scale productive activities for such communities.
The Rural Water Supply Program (PAAR) began in 2003 as an inter - institutional initiative with the purpose to design and build new water supply systems or to upgrade existing systems.
PAAR have worked in 29 of the 42 municipalities in Valle del Cauca focusing on settlements with a population under 2500 people. In all the settlements analyzed, agricultural activities were identified that are important for the livelihoods of their inhabitants.
The “reported” or intended use of water in the designs is domestic use, based on the Drinking Water and Sanitation Regulation, meaning 150 lpcd. However this allocation has been adjusted in practice to allow up to 170 lpcd, which is enough to develop small scale productive activities based on water.
The PAAR Program uses mainly small streams as sources for gravity fed water supply systems and in some cases, systems need to use more than one stream in order to satisfy the demand. When the systems are planned measures are taken to promote financial sustainability and for this reason, tariffs which include a fixed charge and a (metered) consumption charge are put in place. Meters are mandatory for the water supply systems built by PAAR.
This report (in Spanish) synthesizes results of over ten completed projects and theses by students at Cinara on multiple uses of water. It draws out general recommendations for implementing multiple-use services at community-level and upscaling at intermediate- and national level.
This report (in Spanish) reviews project design and implementation at national and intermediate level by the rural water supply program 'PAAR' to provide adequate support, tariffs, and participatory management for multiple-use water supply. It analysis the technical, institutional, financial, and environmental functioning of the schemes and the resulting livelihoods benefits.