December 29, 2015

Safe Water Network Releases Rapid Assessment of Water Supply in the City of Visakhapatnam

Safe Water Network recently completed the Rapid Assessment of Water Supply: City of Visakhapatnam (Vizag). The study found that the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation is doing a commendable job providing water under its ambit despite the limited water supply at its disposal, including subsidizing tap connections for below-poverty-line households and providing tankers to those beyond the city water supply network. However, an inadequate water supply and lack of awareness about the impact of water quality on health put the urban poor at risk. There are opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the piped water supply, and to expand urban small water enterprises to complement piped water supply where the network is limited and there is a heavy dependence on tankers. The study also found a clear need and demand for digital tools to identify the most cost-effective and appropriate technologies. 

The objectives of this assessment were to (i) evaluate the current landscape of piped water supply in Vizag, identify gaps, and provide recommendations on how to address those gaps in the context of Vizag’s endeavors to achieve 24/7 piped water supply; (ii) evaluate the potential of small water enterprises to complement piped water supply, especially for those living beyond the pipe in urban slums; and (iii) assess the need and use for digital tools for e-governance, monitoring, and evaluation. The Safe Water Network team conducted detailed consumer research and water quality testing in slums to understand water supply to the urban poor. They also conducted field investigations and held discussions with various Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation departments, especially the Water Supply and Maintenance division, to assess the overall city water supply network. 

This report is the first in a series of reports under the Urban Small Water Enterprises project of the US Agency for International Development's Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Alliance program. This study aligns with the agreement entered into between the Ministry of Urban Development and US Agency for International Development to contribute towards the Swachh Bharat Mission.