Rural community water supply: sustainable services for all

Approximately two-thirds of a billion rural people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, collect their domestic water from unprotected sources or from engineered but nonetheless distant water points. Another three-quarters of a billion rural people enjoy a ‘basic’ water supply from engineered water points outside the home but within a 30-minute round trip; however, the reliability and safety of the service is often inadequate. The reasons for such a lamentable situation are numerous and complex; their solutions lie in improvements to the ways rural water services are governed by nation states, the financial and management arrangements by which services are kept working, the behaviours of water users, and the technologies that supply and monitor water. The purpose of this book is to set out – for governments, donors, and non-governmental organizations – the nature of the water problems faced by disadvantaged rural communities and, more importantly, to point to solutions and strategies that would ameliorate access to and management of water resources during and beyond the final decade of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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