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.



Water, Electricity, and the Poor: Who Benefits from Utility Subsidies?

Komives, K., Foster, V., Halpern, J., Wodon, Q.
The World Bank
Jan. 2005

Pro-Poor Subsidies for Water Connections in West Africa

Debomy, S., Lauria, D., and Hopkins, O.
World Bank Group
Jan. 2005

This preliminary evaluation of subsidy schemes in Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire providing piped water to the poor shows that lives of targeted beneficiaries of social connections are improved, but outcomes are not all positive.  A reexamination is needed to clarify the real focus of social connections. 

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Deficiencies in Drinking Water Distribution Systems in Developing Countries

Lee, E., Schwab, K.
Journal of Water and Health
Jan. 2005

Urban populations are growing, and this paper highlights how developing countries are failing to keep up with the demand for water. Deteriorating central water systems are primarily to blame, as they are poorly maintained and tend to leak or corrode, posing serious health risks.

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Delivering Social Value via the Private Sector: A Framework for Market-Based Interventions

Boorstin. L.
International Finance Corporation
Sep. 2004

What’s the best way to support socially beneficial activities that the private sector could be pursuing but isn’t at present? This paper draws from IFC’s experience in this field to propose a framework for market-based interventions that may be applicable to a wider range of blended value activities

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Household Water Delivery Options in Urban and Rural India

McKenzie, D., Ray, I.
Stanford Center for International Development
Jul. 2004

Providing access to clean drinking water across India has been a GOVT? goal since 2002. However, current water supply is unreliable, with water quality haphazardly monitored. The price being charged is significantly lower than the cost, and there seems to be potential to increase it.

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Reducing Diarrhea through the Use of Household-Based Ceramic Water Filters: A Randomized, Controlled Trial in Rural Bolivia

Clasen, T., Parra, G., Boisson, S., and Collin, S.
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Jun. 2004

In a six-month trial, water filters were distributed randomly among participating households in a rural community in Bolivia.  Results show that affordable ceramic water filters enable low-income households to treat and maintain the microbiologic quality of their drinking water.

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Sustainability of Hygiene Behaviour and the Effectiveness of Change Interventions

Shordt, K., Cairncross, S.
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre
Mar. 2004

The study shows that most behaviors changed as intended, but this does not prove that over time these behaviors will fade and people to revert back to less hygienic behavior. In water programs, sustained access to clean water is not enough to continue desirable hygiene behavior.

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Household Water Management: Refining the Dominant Paradigm

Clasen, T., Cairncross, S.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Vol 9(2); 187-191
Feb. 2004

Contaminated water causes an increase in incidence of diarrhea in communities. This paper explores the importance of clean water and its association with incidence of diarrhea. Increased water quantity and quality from the water source, and proper storage and treatment can help reduce diarrhea.

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Household Drinking Water in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review of Microbiological Contamination Between Source and Point-of-Use

Wright, J., Gundry, S., Conroy, R.
Tropical Medicine and International Health; Vol 9, Issue 1, 106-117
Jan. 2004

 The bacteriological quality of water declines during household storage. Water at the source contains fewer fecal and coliform counts, but household storage increases contaminant levels. Safe household storage and treatment is recommended to improve the situation.

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Going to Scale

Jan. 2004

A cross-portfolio assessment of projects identifies lessons learned and best practices for System-wide Collaborative Action for Livelihoods and the Environment (SCALE), to help improve people’s livelihoods and quality of life by helping people manage their natural resources in a sustainable way.

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