Water Supply & Sanitation
Water supply and sanitation is one of the focal areas for Aguaconsult in the provision of technical services. Access to potable water and the adequate disposal of excreta, coupled with improved environmental sanitation and positive hygiene behaviours are all critical factors in public health and broader social welfare. Improving water supply and sanitation can also provide livelihood opportunities for the poor and thereby contribute to poverty reduction efforts. Unfortunately, for many millions of poor people around the world such access to sustained services is still lacking, despite the large-scale investments made in the sector over the past decades.
Aguaconsult’s work is primarily focused on the rural and peri-urban sectors and the on the various management models which have been employed to sustain service provision, including the community-management model, which is now broadly accepted as one of the more appropriate and effective approaches. However, whilst there are numerous examples of projects, which initially show positive results, many more systems break down prematurely and the community structures that were created to administer them often fall into conflict and disintegrate. There is a growing body of evidence that community-management structures require a certain level of external support to sustain them and to guarantee adequate levels of service indefinitely. Such support may be provided by a range of actors depending on the specific case, including national level agencies, local government, community associations, or even private sector companies.
Aguaconsult has had broad expertise in the analysis and design of such support systems, and of the broader institutional context of water supply and sanitation in developing and transition countries. Examples of services in this core area include:
- The organisation of the water supply and sanitation sector
- The design and execution of sectoral analysis of water supply and sanitation
- Strategic support to decentralisation efforts and policy reform
- The role of national and local government in service provision
- Support to planning for scaling up of service provision
- Research into sustainability issues for community-managed models
- The design of long-term institutional support mechanisms for community-management models