Water Essentials

The Untapped Potential of Decentralized Solutions to Provide Safe, Sustainable Drinking Water at Large Scale

Jan. 2017
This report argues that new approaches are needed to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 by 2030. Through the analysis of 14 different small water enterprises, the report uncovers bottlenecks to scale and sustainability.



Domestic Transmission Routes of Pathogens: The Problem of In-House Contamination of Drinking Water During Storage in Developing Countries

Tropical Medicine and International Health
Jensen, P., Ensink, J., Jayasinghe, G., Hoek, W., Cairncross, S., Dalsgaard, A.
Jul. 2002

Safe drinking water in rural communities is often contaminated during storage in the home. Both wide and narrow-necked storage containers were bacterially contaminated. Contamination usually occurred due to hand contact with water or improper cleaning of the container.

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Not Just a Drop in the Bucket: Expanding Access to Point-of-Use Water Treatment Systems

Mintz, E., Bartram, J., Lochery, P., Wegelin, M.
American Journal of Public Health; Vol 91, No 10
Oct. 2001

Piped water expansion rarely targets the needs of disadvantaged populations. Point-of-use water treatment is the most effective system for such communities, and helps improve their health, leading to productivity and development. But to be most effective, behavior change is also required.

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A Brief Review of Groundwater for Rural Water Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa

MacDonald, A., Davies, J.
British Geological Survey; DFID
Jan. 2000

Groundwater is the most reliable water source in rural sub-Saharan Africa. There are four main hydrogeological environments in this region. However, due to the chemical composition of these environments, they are not always fit for human consumption.

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Small-Scale Entrepreneurs in the Urban Water and Sanitation Market

Solo, T.
Apr. 1999

Small-scale enterprises such as NGOs and private suppliers have been really succesful in providing water and sanitation services to marginalized communities. By improving public policy, these organizations can be united to decrease inefficient competition and improve supply quality and quantity.

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Smart Micro-Grids


Harbinger has developed a set of software and services needed for planning, executing, and operating smart micro-grids in under-resourced environments. Smart micro-grids are efficient, renewable long-term energy solutions for under-resourced communties.

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Master Plan - Five Year Strategic Plan 2013-2017: Ghana Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme

Ghana Health Service

Ghana has a number of endemic neglected tropical diseases and the government has initiated a 5 year financing and delivery plan which includes improved water and sanitation supply. The aim is to prevent, control, and eliminate the NTDs by 2020.

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Safe Drinking Water Sujala Scheme

Byrraju Foundation

The Byrraju Foundation has compiled a toolkit of steps and phases in the development of a drinking water initiative, based off experience in establishing 31 drinking water plants in India. Communities are willing to contribute to capital cost, charging INR 1.50 for 12 liters.

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A Study on Risk Assessment of Domestic Roof Water Harvesting Project in Churu District of Rajasthan Using Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Framework

Chaudhary, M., Sadhu, G., and Tripathi, M.
Safe Water Network; Institute of Health Management Research

Results of a failure mode and effects analysis provide recommendations for responsible implementation of domestic roof water harvesting systems. Risk factors include: situation near a septic tank; construction material; inability of beneficiaries to repay loan; and contaminated water. 

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‘Slippage’: The Bane of Drinking Water and Sanitation Sector (A Study of Extent and Causes in Rural Andhra Pradesh)

Reddy, V., Rammohan Rao, M., Venkataswamy, M.
WASHCost India

This paper assesses the reasons why service delivery of water and sanitation frequently fails, known as "slippage." Slippage in some states of India is as high as 60%, and there is evidence that stronger policy can reduce this issue and increase water security.

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Frontier Capital: Early Stage Investing for Financial Returns and Social Impact in Emerging Markets

Bannick, M., Goldman, P., and Kubzansky, M.
Omidyar Network

Low- and lower-middle income populations have huge unmet needs and face quite a bit of instability - challenges that can be addressed by innovative business models. Companies serving this demographic represent an under-tapped opportunity both for financial returns and for outsized impact. 

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