This project brought together iDE-N's experience in MUS, irrigation, water management and appropriate sustainable business models with Renewable World’s experience in renewable energy and business models for income generation in extremely isolated communities.
Solar-powered water pumps, as a reliable system of lifting water, are critical to the success of this project. The traditional gravity-fed MUS, as previously implemented by iDE-N in Nepal, are designed to give priority for drinking water, with overflow water from the drinking water tank being used for agriculture and other uses. Householders are trained to use micro-irrigation systems to make efficient use of the MUS water for their agricultural needs. Micro-irrigation is a financial boon to households as it results in higher crop yields, longer growing seasons (as crops can be grown in the dry season), and better market prices (as these crops tend to be more scarce at that time of year). Increased income means that households can cover the costs of ongoing operation, maintenance, and replacement costs of multiple-use systems. Because they better meet the water needs of communities, multiple-use services also decrease conflict related to water access as well as damage to infrastructure caused by “illegal” or unplanned uses.
Agricultural Water Management (AWM) is essential to food security, but it also plays a fundamental role in building human capital in rural areas. This checklist on gender in AWM recognises the importance of multiple-use in that.
Men and women often have different roles and needs in the use and management of water resources. In addition, access to, rights to and control over water (and land) also tends to be different for women and men worldwide and in part, reflects existing social relations in power. Policy and decision-making regarding land and water management have traditionally been the domain of men. As a result policies and programs do not always consider women’s unique knowledge, needs or unequal ownership and benefit rights. Particularly successful Agricultural Water Management (AWM) projects:
• Prevent elites from capturing project benefits and extends these benefits to a much larger population base to include large and small scale women farmers, landless women, female land owners and wage labourers as well as other categories of women farmers;
• Address both women and men’s domestic and productive water needs. To date, many single-sector projects are implemented for either irrigation or domestic water supply, rather than both, which overlooks the multiple-use needs of rural communities;
• Explicitly seek to increase women’s capacity to participate in domestic water and irrigation projects and plan for ways to increase women’s access to other productive resources;
• Encompass an approach that takes into account the social, economic and institutional realities of the project area and allocates resources to studies which consider these issues in the planning stage.
This is the synthesis report of the e-discussion on multiple-use water services which was held from 28 April - 24 May 2014.
The e-discussion aimed to:
- Improve understanding among water practitioners of the MUS approach and explore how it links with issues of interest to RWSN: household investments in self-supply for multiple uses, equity considerations in multiple uses and the relation between multiple uses of water and sustainable services.
- Bring together a network of practitioners from different disciplines to share learning from approaches that have worked or have not.
- Unlock practical experience and capture in a synthesis. The synthesis will outline current knowledge gaps, policy implications, and highlight issues for the four RWSN thematic groups to take forward.
- Identify immediate and longer term actions for the MUS group and RWSN members.
Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in the potential benefits related to the productive use of rural piped water around the homestead. However, there is limited empirical research on the extent to which, and conditions under which, this activity occurs. Using data obtained from a comprehensive study of 47 rural piped water systems in Senegal, this paper reveals the extent of piped-water-based productive activity occurring and identifies important system-level variables associated with this activity. Three-quarters (74%) of the households surveyed depend on water for their livelihoods with around one-half (54%) relying on piped water. High levels of piped-water-based productive activity were found to be associated with shorter distances from a community to a city or paved road (i.e. markets), more capable water system operators and water committees, and communities that contributed to the construction of the piped water system. Further, access to electricity was associated with higher productive incomes from water-based productive activities, highlighting the role that non-water-related inputs have on the extent of productive activities undertaken. Finally, an analysis of the technical performance of piped water systems found no statistically significant association between high vs. low levels of productive activity and system performance; however, a positive relationship was found between system performance and the percentage of households engaged in productive activities.
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.
Divisions between communities, disciplinary and practice, impede understanding of how complex interventions in health and other sectors actually work and slow the development and spread of more effective ones. We test this hypothesis by re-reviewing a Cochrane-standard systematic review (SR) of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions’ impact on child diarrhoea morbidity: can greater understanding of impacts and how they are achieved be gained when the same papers are reviewed jointly from health and development perspectives?
Using realist review methods, researchers examined the 27 papers for evidence of other impact pathways operating than assumed in the papers and SR. Evidence relating to four questions was judged on a scale of likelihood. At the ‘more than possible’ or ‘likely’ level, 22% of interventions were judged to involve substantially more actions than the SR’s label indicated; 37% resulted in substantial additional impacts, beyond reduced diarrhoea morbidity; and unforeseen actions by individuals, households or communities substantially contributed to the impacts in 48% of studies. In 44%, it was judged that these additional impacts and actions would have substantially affected the intervention’s effect on diarrhoea morbidity. The prevalence of these impacts and actions might well be found greater in studies not so narrowly selected. We identify six impact pathways suggested by these studies that were not considered by the SR: these are tentative, given the limitations of the literature we reviewed, but may help stimulate wider review and primary evaluation efforts.
This re-review offers a fuller understanding of the impacts of these interventions and how they are produced, pointing to several ways in which investments might enhance health and wellbeing. It suggests that some conclusions of the SR and earlier reviews should be reconsidered. Moreover, it contributes important experience to the continuing debate on appropriate methods to evaluate and synthesize evidence on complex interventions.
Open access article by Michael Loevinsohn, Lyla Mehta, Katie Cuming, Alan Nicol, Oliver Cumming and Jeroen H. J. Ensink published in the Oxford journal Health and Policy Planning.
This process document reports on the integrated water resource management (IWRM) and food security project in Kafue Basin in Zambia. The project was aimed at demonstrating the food security, health, poverty reduction and ecological benefits of applying IWRM principles and practices. The scope of work included the following:
- Provision of improved technology for water abstraction, storage and supply for both domestic and productive use.
- Improvement of water resources management for enhanced availability of water.
- Rehabilitation of water facility infrastructure (boreholes, wells, dams/dykes for enhanced water accessibility and availability).
- Provision of market linkages and capacity building in water resources governance/management, conservation farming rain/food water harvesting.
This report documents the experiences in Swaziland, where the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE) was the implementing agent of the project ‘Capacity Building for the Lavumisa Irrigation Development Project’.
This process document reports on the IWRM and Rural Livelihood Project in Dzimphutsi, Malawi. It describes the process, impacts and lessons learnt of the project in Malawi, where the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development guided an implementing agent, the firm CODA, in implementing the ‘IWRM and Improved Livelihoods project in Dzimphutsi Area’.
This document reports on the 'IWRM Demonstration Project: Improved livelihoods in lower Limpopo' carried out in Ndonga community, Mozambique. The project aimed to demonstrate how principles of IWRM can be put into practice in poor rural areas. The focus was on those principles that have received limited attention as yet: water resource management at the lowest appropriate levels, users’ participation, and the inclusion of women.
In short, the starting point for local-level IWRM is the recognition that people have multiple domestic and productive water needs, certainly in rural areas where agriculture-based diversified livelihoods depend in many ways upon water. Better access to water brings health and alleviates women’s and girls’ burdens of water fetching and it improves production of crops, vegetables, animals and fisheries for food and income.