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.



Gridlines: Partnering for Water in Cote d’Ivoire. Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility

Marin, P., Ouayoro, E., and Verspyck, R.
Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility
Aug. 2009

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the national water utility of Côte d’Ivoire demonstrates an African success story shows that a pragmatic partnership between a committed government and an efficient private operator can produce tangible and sustained benefits for the population.

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Solar Disinfection of Water Reduces Diarrhoeal Disease: An Update

Conroy, R., Meegan, M., Joyce, T., McGuigan, K., and Barnes, J.
Archives of Disease in Childhood
Jun. 2009

Children drinking solar disinfected water had a significantly lower risk of severe diarrhoeal disease over two weekly follow up visits. Solar disinfection is effective in vivo as a free, low technology, point of consumption method of improving water quality. 

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Microbiological Quality and Metal Levels in Wells and Boreholes Water in Some Peri-Urban Communities in Kumasi, Ghana

Obiri-Danso, K., Adjel, B., Stanley, K. N., Jones, K.
African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology; Vol 3(1), 59-66
May. 2009

This study assessed the quality of water in boreholes and wells in Kumasi, Ghana. The overall quality of water in boreholes was better than wells, however some of the shallower ones were of poor quality. Quality also declines during the wet season.

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Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Water Utilities: A Review of Experiences in Developing Countries

Marin, P., Ouayoro, E., and Verspyck, R.
The World Bank
Feb. 2009

Due to instable governments and lack of reliable data, public-private partnerships are often considered unviable in developing countries. This report explores success stories in countries that show impressive performances in access, quality, efficiency, and tariff levels.

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Data Gaps in Evidence-Based Research on Small Water Enterprises in Developing Countries

Opryszko, M., Huang, H., Soderlund, K., and Schwab, K.
Journal of Water and Health
Jan. 2009

Small water enterprises are active in urban, peri-urban and rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Benefits include: no upfront connection fees; demand-driven and flexible to local conditions; and service to large populations without high costs of utility infrastructure.

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Is Fecal Contamination of Drinking Water After Collection Associated with Household Water Handling and Hygiene Practices? A Study of Urban Slum Households in Hyderabad, India

Eshcol, J., Mahapatra, P., Keshapagu, S.
Journal of Water and Health
Jan. 2009

Water stored in households in various towns and villages in Sierra Leone is contaminated, despite the sources being free of any bacterial contamination. However, households with contaminated stored water did not have any significantly different handling or hygiene practices.

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Interventions to Improve Water Quality for Preventing Diarrhoea

Clasen, T., Roberts, I., Rabie, T., Schmidt, WP, Cairncross, S.
The Cochrane Collaboration
Jan. 2009

Interventions to improve water quality are generally effective in preventing diarrhoea, with household level interventions more effective than those at the source. Further research, including blinded trials and longer-term assessments, is necessary to understand the full impact of interventions.

Local Drinking Water Filters Reduce Diarrheal Disease in Cambodia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Ceramic Water Purifier

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Sep. 2008

This study constitutes the first  randomized, controlled trial of locally produced ceramic filters for point-of-use drinking water treatment.  Household-level access to either filter resulted in a marked decrease in diarrheal disease among users in rural Cambodia versus a control group. 

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Making Capitalism More Creative

Gates, B.
Gates Foundation
Jul. 2008

Billions can't express their needs in ways that matter to markets so they are stuck in poverty. A more creative capitalism is needed to stretch the reach of market forces, and new ways to bring far more people into the system —capitalism — that has done so much good in the world.

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Community and Household Determinants of Water Quality in Coastal Ghana

McGarvey, S., Buszin, J., Reed, H., Smith, D., Rahman, Z., Andrzejewski, C., Awusabo-Asare, K., White, M.
Journal of Water and Health
Jan. 2008

This study examines the associations between socio-demographic profiles, household drinking water quality, and water sources. Variations in community and household socio-demographic and behavioral factors are key determinants of water quality and should be considered for educational interventions.

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