Session FT 4.25
Multiple use water services
International Water Management Institute IWMI
International Water and Sanitation Centre IRC
International Development Enterprise IDE
TEC Global Water Partnership
Since long, it is recognized that schemes in poor rural areas that are planned for one single purpose, either a ‘domestic’ scheme, or an ‘irrigation’ scheme or a ‘livestock’ pond, are in reality always used for multiple purposes. Therefore, planners designed ‘add-ons’, such as washing steps in irrigation canals, higher discharge pumps, or pipes with larger diameters, to accommodate such non-planned uses and avoid scheme damage. In an integrated ‘multiple-use water services approach’ people’s multiple domestic and productive water needs are taken as a starting point and the sector-barriers within the water sector are dissolved. This form of Integrated Water Resources Management at the level of the household or the community or a number of communities is a highly appropriate and cost-effective way to advance the Millennium Development Goals.
The session presents local actions of domestic-plus, productive-plus, and multiple use water services approaches from Latin America, Asia, and Africa to highlight the merits of multiple needs-based approaches compared to conventional single-use water services approaches. The session also identifies principles at community-level, intermediate level and national level that need to be in place in order to implement and upscale multiple-use water services approaches and their benefits at a significant scale. Expert panellists from the productive sector (ICID), domestic sector (WSP World Bank), international organizations (African Development Bank and Winrock International), and governments (South Africa and Colombia) indicate the opportunities and constraints from their institutional backgrounds.
Users use water schemes for multiple uses, whether planned or not.
Single-use water services provision in poor rural areas fails to meet women’s and men’s multiple water needs and leads to scheme damage, allocation problems, and scheme collapse.
Domestic-plus, productive-plus, and multiple use water services approaches implemented in the past generate considerably higher benefits at low or no extra costs.
Upscaling of multiple-use water services approaches allows multiplying the benefits
Multiple use water services approaches: improve more dimensions of wellbeing; are gender equitable by design; enhance willingness and ability to pay; enhance water productivity and ‘use per drop’; are owned by communities; address multiple health issues in an integrated way; and ensure sustainable and equitable water use; at no or low incremental costs.
Upscaling of multiple use services approaches is an important form of IWRM to advance the Millennium Development Goals, requiring actions at community level, intermediate level and national level.
Orientations for action
Taking people's multiple water needs as starting point in any planning and design of water services, especially in rural and peri-urban areas where diversified livelihood activities are highly water-dependent (drinking, domestic, animal watering, gardening and field cropping, fisheries, food processing and other small businesses, culture).
At community level: empowering the poor through participatory planning of water services, that (a) are based on integrated livelihoods assessments (benefits, costs, health risks); (b) access multiple water sources sustainably and equitably prioritizing small-scale water uses for all in times of scarcity; (c) assemble affordable 'bundles of technologies' for multiple uses; (d) are managed through inclusive integrated community-based water management institutions; and (e) are self-financed where possible, and effectively subsidized to reach the poor.
At intermediate level: stimulating intermediate-level public and private service providers to meet their clients' multiple water needs in ways that are (a) coordinated across sectors; (b) participatory and strategic; (c) allow for learning and upscaling; (d) provide technical and institutional support to communities, and (e) provide adequate financing mechanisms.
At national level: devolving decision-making and provide support for massive upscaling of mus approaches by (a) stimulating integrated decision-making at intermediate and community level by removing top-down single-use imperatives; (b) providing technical and institutional support and (c) adequate funding (loans and subsidies), and (d) promulgate enabling policy and legal frameworks.
At global level: strengthen future learning-by-doing and sharing of lessons on 'how to' implement and massively upscale multiple use water services approaches.
Local Actions presented
Multiple water use systems by design: new low-cost tools for irrigating small plots with a limited water supply—experience from Nepal and India
Projects being implemented by IDE and partners in Nepal and India have promoted smallholder farmer vegetable production using water conserving, low-pressure drip irrigation systems. This enables farmers with very limited water supply, such as the overflow from existing domestic water supply systems, to successfully produce vegetables sufficient for household consumption and some for sale in local markets. The observation that domestic water supply mirrored the infrastructure needs to support drip irrigation of small vegetable plots led to examining the feasibility of designing irrigation systems that could perform the dual role of irrigation for vegetable production and also the domestic water supply for entire villages. Early qualitative results from 7 systems designed for multiple use services—irrigation and domestic water delivery—are very promising. Based on these results the IDE Nepal program has increased emphasis on promoting design of multiple use water services and is participating in the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food funded Multiple Use Water Systems Project
Bottom up design and implementation of sustainable multiple water use systems by Local Wisdom farmer networks in the northeast of Thailand, and national upscaling
Khon Kaen, Thailand
Since 1990, farmers started developing multi-purpose farm ponds and relating water resource management techniques for realistic resource and livelihood development, in stead of one-size-fit-all approach. At the early stage there were scattered successes with this particular approach in at least 12 locations in Nakornrachasima, Buriram, Surin, Khon Kaen, Amnatcharoen. Thereafter the successful cases attracted farmers to develop into farmer groups of 12 learning centers around the successful cases. With linkages to some external support the successful cases have eventually developed into Local Wisdom Networks that expanded to 200 other villages all over the northeast of Thailand.
Creación de “Comités de Agua” en zonas periurbanas
Programa agua tuya, Bolivia
In peri-urban Cochabamba, Bolivia, most people access water supplied by community-managed water systems and other alternative supply sources that are neither recognised nor adequately supported by government and external agencies. Interventions tend to focus on extending the concession areas of utilities and this has been strongly conflictive. One of the key issues, often ignored, is the water demands of peri-urban households for small scale productive activities. The private sector enterprise AGUATUYA supports the upgrading of community managed systems with consideration for both domestic and productive needs.
SWELL: Securing Water to Enhance Local Livelihoods in South Africa
AWARD, South Africa
The South African NGO Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) has been piloting an integrated planning approach to the implementation of a multiple use services (mus) approach in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality in South Africa, which is known locally as Securing Water to Enhance Local Livelihoods (SWELL). SWELL is a community-based planning approach for multiple uses of water, working closely with the Municipality and the local offices of the national departments of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), Agriculture and Social Development. The aim is to integrate the results of SWELL into the Municipal Integrated Development Plan (IDP) process
Implementing multiple use water services in Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Gobernacion del Valle, Colombia
In the Programa de Abasticimiento de Agua (PAAR) programme, the departmental government of the Valle del Cauca, around Cali, Colombia is modifying the conventional single-use approach to rural water supply in Colombia (a norm of 20 cubic metres per household per month) by adopting more flexible implementation of guidelines and specifically recognising the contributions made to rural livelihoods by small-scale productive activities.