DPhil studentship | Adaptive water resources planning to manage future risks to London’s water supply

Funded doctoral studentship available at the Environmental Change Institute, starting in October 2016.

Funded Managing water supplies in a changing climate is a growing challenge. The uncertainty associated with future rainfall, river flows, water quality and groundwater availability makes it difficult to plan for the future with any degree of certainty. Under the circumstances, it may be desirable to adopt flexible strategies that keep options open for the future. There is a desire to develop ‘adaptation pathways’ for water resources management systems. Adaptation pathways demonstrate the possible sequences of options that might be adopted to cope with a wide range of possible future conditions.

The Environmental Change Institute in the University of Oxford has developed advanced methodologies for risk assessment of water resource systems and for decision making under uncertainty. This project will combine these methodologies in order to develop and demonstrate new methodology for water resources planning. The research will focus upon the Thames river basin, where climate change and increasing demand for water are challenging water supplies.

The research will combine several cutting-edge research areas in order to develop and integrated approach to decision making for the Thames:

  1. Statistical analysis of hydrological variability (in surface and groundwater) in order to estimate the probabilities of droughts on a range of scales.
  2. Analysis of the risks of harmful water quality, which may jeopardise water supplies.
  3. Simulation modelling of the water supply infrastructure in order to estimate the probabilities of water shortage.
  4. Development of decision strategies and pathways that ensure that risks to the water supply system are always within the bounds of tolerability.

The project will be supervised by Professor Jim Hall, Director of the Environmental Change Institute in the University of Oxford.

The project will suit students from any quantified background, including engineering, physical or environmental sciences. Students with a background in hydrology and water resources would be particularly suitable. Applicants should have a first class undergraduate degree in any of the above subjects or have (or be projected to achieve) a distinction in a Master’s degree in a relevant subject.

UK and EU applicants will be eligible for funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (subject to confirmation), with additional financial support from Thames Water through a CASE award.

In the first instance applicants should send a CV and covering letter to Professor Jim Hall. The closing date for applications is 25 January 2016. A selection interview will be held in Oxford on 15 February 2016. Informal enquiries can be directed to jim.hall@eci.ox.ac.uk.

Please note that the successful candidate will then need to submit an application to the University of Oxford before 10th March. Applications are made through the School of Geography and the Environment.

See the full research proposal.

Water Security: less talk, more action

andrew-hamilton-oxford-university

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University © REACH

Water security is an increasingly urgent and complex challenge facing society, both rich and poor. Over 200 people from 20 countries met to debate using a risk-based framework to respond to the global and local challenges at the Water Security 2015 conference held at Oxford University on 9-11 December.

The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Andrew Hamilton, welcomed Ministers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya who led discussions on the significance and shared challenge of water security for countries in Africa and Asia.

‘Water security is an issue of life or death for Bangladesh’ said Mr MA Mannan MP, State Minister of Finance and Planning. The country’s population, especially the poor, are highly vulnerable to water hazards, including frequent floods, droughts and arsenic-contaminated groundwater.

The World Bank and Oxford University presented new evidence on the global status of water security risks, showing the scale, urgency and cost of the challenge. Findings from the OECD and Global Water Partnership report ‘Securing Water, Sustaining Growth’ provide the economic rationale for investment in infrastructure, institutions and information.

Professor Jim Hall, Director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University said: ‘investment finance needs to have a sense of where the priorities lie. We have developed a common language to look at the scale of the risk, evaluate the benefits of risk reduction, and make proportionate interventions and investments in water security.’

The conference continued with a focus on water security and poverty in Africa and South Asia, marking the first year of REACH: Improving water security for the poor. The programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with a £15 million investment in water research. DFID’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Charlotte Watts, flagged the programme as critical to providing robust evidence needed for designing and implementing water security interventions.

Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Adviser, UK Department for International Development © REACH

Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Adviser, UK Department for International Development © REACH

Gaining government support will be key for REACH to bring about transformational change beyond its focussed ‘Water Security Observatories’ or study sites. Attendance from three State Ministers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya – the countries where REACH works – was an important step in building these science-policy partnerships with senior academic, enterprise and policy collaborators.

Ato Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Ethiopia, shared his country’s vision: ‘It is my Government’s ambition and commitment that all Ethiopians especially women and children have a future where they can live, learn and grow without the burden of water insecurity both in terms of water quality and quantity.’

Mr MA Mannan MP, State Minister of Finance and Planning, Bangladesh (left); Ato Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Ethiopia (right) © REACH

Mr MA Mannan MP, State Minister of Finance and Planning, Bangladesh (left); Ato Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Ethiopia (right) © REACH

The Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Kenya, Mr Eugene Wamalwa, spoke of unprecedented floods taking place in his country. Referring also to recent floods in Cumbria in the UK, he said that water is a global issue that connects us all. He tweeted with enthusiasm about his support for REACH and willingness to work in partnership to find new solutions to water insecurity.

Dr Rob Hope, REACH Director, Oxford Universityl (left); Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Kenya (right) © REACH

Dr Rob Hope, REACH Director, Oxford Universityl (left); Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Kenya (right) © REACH

Mr Sanjay Wijesekera, Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at UNICEF, highlighted the drive towards achieving universal access to water and sanitation, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The need to address inequalities and target the poorest and most vulnerable is a priority across the SDGs, and in UNICEF’s work, he said. UNICEF is a global practitioner partner in the REACH programme with strong collaboration across regions and countries in Africa and Asia.

Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF © REACH

Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF © REACH

Three Country Diagnostic Reports on Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya were launched at the conference. The reports illustrate significant but complex interactions between water security risks and poverty. Each Country Diagnostic Report outlines Water Security Observatories where REACH will focus its work over the next seven years.

Speakers from a session on ‘engendering water security’ showed how gender is a thread that weaves its way through all water security issues, from disasters, to water supply and sanitation, water management and technologies, and climate change resilience. The different values, needs and uses of water by men and women, and boys and girls, must be considered, to ensure that policies are effective. Eight parallel sessions convened panel discussions by senior policy, academic and enterprise leaders on issues of finance, monitoring, climate, poverty, health, data science, political accountability and groundwater.

In final remarks, REACH Director Dr Rob Hope said: ‘REACH will generate outstanding science to support policy and practice to improve water security for millions of poor people. The focus is on research with purpose and not producing academic papers that will gather dust.’

A call for partnerships and action was crystallised with the launch of the REACH Partnership Funding.

Presentations, audio and video will be available on the conference website soon – www.watersecurity205.org.

See the social media summary of the conference on Storify

Conference photos

Global leaders call for increased action and investment in water security

A number of global leaders have backed a Policy Statement committing to policies that contribute to water security, based on research led by Oxford University.

Water-policy-statement-2015-23.10The Statement underlines the importance of water security for sustainable economic development, social equity and environmental sustainability. It calls for countries to finance initiatives that ensure water availability and quality, and protect society from water risks, especially droughts, floods, and pollution.

A High-Level Panel prepared the Statement at the 7th World Water Forum in Korea, 13 April 2015, as part of the Global Dialogue for Water Security and Sustainable Growth, an initiative of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Statement sets out a number of Policy Recommendations, including the need to integrate investments into long-term planning and sequence investments along a coherent pathway. Countries are urged to adopt risk management strategies, based on preventative action rather than reactive responses.

The Policy Recommendations are based on evidence from a Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth, co-chaired by Professors David Grey and Jim Hall at the Oxford University.

A growing number of governments back the Statement, including Ministers from China, Denmark, Hungary, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Korea, Spain and Belgium.

Related links

Read the Global Dialogue on Water Security and Sustainable Growth Policy Statement

Read the report Securing Water, Sustaining Growth

The report Securing Water, Sustaining Growth will be presented and discussed at the Water Security 2015 conference in Oxford, 9-11 December www.watersecurity2015.org

Unavoidable increase in flood risk with 4°C climate change

A new report finds that significant additional investment and adaptation action will be needed in the UK to counter flood risk projected under a 2°C rise in global mean temperatures. But if temperatures climb by 4°C, a large increase in flood risk will be unavoidable. 

Climate-Change-Risk-Assessment-2017-250x350The research, led by Paul Sayers, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute, warns that even the most ambitious adaptation scenarios will not be able to avoid the effects of 4°C on UK flood risk. Long stretches of current coastal flood defence structures in England will become highly vulnerable to failure as sea levels rise, making it increasingly more difficult and costly to manage the risk of widespread coastal inundation.

The report was commissioned by the Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) of the Committee on Climate Change who has been asked by the Government to lead the next UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. An Evidence Report will be published in July 2016, before the final Government report is presented to Parliament in 2017.

Read the report

 

Exploring whether water shortages are due to climate change or local factors

Human-induced climate change plays a clear and significant role in some extreme weather events but understanding the other risks at a local level is also important, say research studies just published. Oxford researchers examined serious droughts in Brazil, East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean.

The Jaguari Reservoir in Brazil. The left side image shows the area on August 3, 2014; the right side image shows the same area on August 16, 2013, before the recent drought began. Credit: NASA.

The Jaguari Reservoir in Brazil. The left side image shows the area on August 3, 2014; the right side image shows the same area on August 16, 2013, before the recent drought began. Credit: NASA.

Oxford researchers found that while there was a clear influence of human-induced climate change being responsible for the failing rains in the Levant region, the fingerprint of human activity was not detected in the other two where causes of water shortages were found to be local factors, such as increased water demand, population growth or methods used for irrigating the crops.

A study of a severe drought in São Paulo, the largest city in South America with a population of about 20 million, found that human-induced climate change was not a major influence. The researchers, led by Dr Friederike Otto of the Environmental Change Institute, examined the drought in terms of lack of rainfall, water availability, and water demand. They found the consequences of the drought – which included temporary water shut-offs, a spike in dengue fever cases, and higher electricity prices – were a result of low water availability combined with the numbers of people involved and damage to the infrastructure system. They also concluded that the lack of rainfall in southeast Brazil in 2014 and 2015 while unusual was not unprecedented, with similar dry periods occurring before, with the most recent being in 2001.

Dr Otto said: ‘It’s clear that a lack of rain and changes in evaporation were not the only players in the Brazilian drought. We therefore looked beyond the weather and found that the increased demand for water caused by a quadrupling of the city’s population since 1960 and rising water use increased risks of water shortages in this area.’

The second Oxford-led study by Dr Toby Marthews focused on the Horn of Africa and showed that droughts are a natural part of the climate in this region; yet, despite this, the population is heavily dependent on rain-fed agricultural methods. This made the population extremely vulnerable when there was no rain – as happened in the 2014 growing season, says the study. It adds though there was no influence of human-induced climate change causing a lack of rain that year, although it had led to higher temperatures and incoming radiation, making the population more vulnerable.

The third study focused on a lack of rainfall in what should have been the raining season in the Levant region in 2014. The researchers found human-induced climate change increased the risk of such a severe and unprecedented drought occurring by around 45%. Co-author Daniel Mitchell, from the Environmental Change Institute, said: ‘We used local station data and the modelling framework provide by the weather@home project to find clear signals for human influence on this uniquely persistent drought. The study suggests those living in the southern Levant region should be considering adaptations and ways of reducing the risks of extreme weather events, particularly if weather is set to become increasingly extreme in the future.’

Researchers from the ECI have led and co-authored five of the published studies that appear in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society’s annual special report, Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective, which investigates the causes of a wide variety of extreme weather and climate events from around the world. All of the five rely on simulations provided by members of the public in the distributed computing framework weather@home. This project uses the combined power of tens of thousands of home computers to simulate the risks of human influence in extreme weather events.

Dr Otto, who leads the weather@home project, said: ‘The field called “extreme event attribution”, which looks for the fingerprints of human-caused warming in extreme weather events, has made considerable advances over the past decade. The goal of extreme event attribution science is to provide this evidence and we are in a unique position to provide the necessary modelling framework to look into the changing statistics of rare and unprecedented events.’

Read the report

Visit the weather@home website

New groundwater monitoring tool wins prize at World Water Week

Topping off a successful week at Stockholm World Water Week 2015, Patrick Thomson and colleagues from the Department of Engineering Science won the prize for the best poster, which presented an innovative new approach to measuring shallow groundwater level using community handpumps.

handpump-africa

Using data generated by a low-cost accelerometer fitted to community handpumps, the team has used machine learning methods to measure the groundwater level beneath pumps.

While currently at the proof-of-concept stage, the implications of this work are far-reaching. At scale, the tool could transform the thousands of handpumps across Africa into a large-scale, distributed network for monitoring groundwater supplies, in a continent where there is very little data.

The need for information on the state of groundwater is becoming ever more important in the face of climate change, as groundwater resources may help buffer against changes in rainfall and surface water flows.

The research project is a collaboration between the Smith School of Environment and Enterprise and the Computational Health Informatics Lab in the Department of Engineering Science.

See the electronic poster

Read the briefing note Distributed Monitoring of Shallow Aquifer Level using Community Handpumps

Sustainable finance for universal rural water services

Achieving the global goal of universal water services in rural Africa requires new and sustainable financial models. Oxford University and partners convened a special session at World Water Week 2015 in Stockholm, to present new evidence and debate emerging approaches being tested across rural Africa.

rob

Operation and maintenance costs for waterpoints in rural Africa are estimated at around USD 1 billion per year, according to new cross-country evidence (Foster). Mobile money platforms provide a promising but largely untested approach to improve rural water cost recovery (Nique). Public and private sector initiatives in rural Rwanda and Kenya illustrate emerging impacts and wider implications for Africa (Sano, Mikkelsen, Hope) with UNICEF supporting many initiatives across the region.

The session on 25 August saw Oxford University collaborating with partners from UNICEF (East and Southern Africa Regional Office), the Government of Kenya Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), Rwanda’s national Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Grundfos and GSMA (mobile industry).

The following conclusions were drawn:

  1. Water service regulation and financial support in Africa largely focusses on urban piped services with insufficient attention and support to promoting sustainable models in rural areas.
  2. The legacy of uncoordinated investments in rural areas has wasted significant resources with competing infrastructure cannabilising sources.
  3. The non-functionality rate of millions of rural handpumps is twice as high without revenue collection.
  4. Communities struggle with low probability, high cost repair costs often leading to use of more distant, dirty and often expensive water sources.
  5. There are affordability concerns for vulnerable groups. Interventions must leave no one behind through a universal service delivery approach.

Next steps identified include:

  1. Institutional investments to promote coordination and regulation of existing and future infrastructure assets and financial models.
  2. Information systems that provide timely and reliable operational and financial data to inform more robust institutional design and performance.
  3. Understand the potential of private sector engagement in testing new models at scale in partnership with government and civil society.
  4. Generate evidence of novel financial instruments that optimise rural water sustainability blending user payments (tariffs), donor contributions (transfers) and government (taxes).

 

Presentations

Why financial sustainability matters – evidence from Africa
Tim Foster, Oxford University
presentation slides

Mobile water payment systems
Michael Nique, GSMA
presentation slides

Financial sustainability of rural water wupply
James Sano, Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Rwanda
presentation slides

Public private partnerships for sustainable rural water supply
Rasoul Mikkelsen, Grundfos Ltd.
presentation slides

Financial sustainability for universal rural water services
Rob Hope, Oxford University
presentation slides

Understanding financial flows for rural water services in Africa

Financial sustainability is a necessary but often forgotten condition to advance global goals of universal, reliable, safe and affordable water services. Oxford University researchers are designing and testing new financial models to find out what works for the rural poor in Kenya.

IMG_5377

In rural Africa people are four times more likely to get their water from an unsafe source than those living in urban areas. Around one in three handpumps are broken at any one time.

The Water Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment is trialling novel financial models to improve rural water sustainability and results from ongoing research in Kenya are published in two new Working Papers.

The unpredictable timing and magnitude of costs associated with operation and maintenance is a chronic problem for communities. The first study assesses the case for handpump insurance to reduce financial risks, and is supported by a grant from the UK Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council.

While it seems unlikely that a standalone insurance product would offer a viable business model, the concept of pooling finances and spreading risk across multiple communities could help them pay for services that last.

The second study supported by UNICEF, builds on the teams earlier work and tests a model where water users pre-pay for a professional maintenance service that uses mobile-enabled data on handpump use. The report argues that improved institutional coordination and investment, and improved monitoring systems are necessary conditions for achieving universal rural water services.

The two papers will be launched at World Water Week 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Read the reports

Insuring Against Rural Water Risk – Evidence from Kwale, Kenya
Financial Sustainability for Universal Rural Water Services – Evidence from Kyuso, Kenya

The Oxford Water Network at World Water Week

Oxford University will be active at this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden on 23-28 August 2015, with several presentations and an Oxford Water Network booth.

water and development

The annual World Water Week is widely considered ‘the’ place to be for researchers, business, decision-makers and practitioners interested in global water issues. This year’s theme is Water for Development and the event takes place just weeks before world leaders adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the successors of the Millennium Development Goals.

The theme is timely for us, given the recent launch of our global seven-year programme REACH which addresses water security risks in Africa and South Asia, specifically targeting the poor.

We will also be sharing insights from our Smart Water Systems research which designs and tests new mobile technologies and institutional models to transform water resource management and water service delivery in Africa.

The Stockholm International Water Institute’s report Water for Development – Charting a Water Wise Path frames the challenge. It argues that getting water management right is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Experts reflect on wide-ranging topics, such as the dedicated water SDG, reducing the risk of disasters, and the role of Information Communications Technology (ICT) for water and development.

Dr Rob Hope, Director of the Water Programme at the Smith School for Enterprise, will be leading a session on sustainable finance for universal rural water services, alongside UNICEF, the mobile operators network GSMA, the world’s largest pump manufacturer Grundfos Ltd and a water supply company in Rwanda.

An Oxford Water Network booth (located at G3 on the map) will provide a hub for people to meet and find out more about water research and education at Oxford University. If you are in Stockholm, then do come along and meet our researchers at the booth! A number of themed informal discussions have been scheduled.

Download the programme of presentations by Oxford University researchers.

Download the full schedule of activities at the Oxford University booth.

Follow World Water Week on twitter with the hashtag #wwweek and follow our activities via @oxfordwater and @reach_water

Watch the video One Water – for Sustainable Development

Schedule of presentations

Sunday 23 August

11:00-12:30, Room FH 300
Implementing the SDGs in the post-2015 development agenda
Convenors: GWP, Stockholm International Water Institute, UN-Water
Patrick Thomson presenting Implementing, monitoring and financing the water SDG in rural Africa

14:00-15:30, Room FH 300
Implementing the SDGs in the post-2015 development agenda
Convenors: GWP, Stockholm International Water Institute, UN-Water
Dr Katrina Charles presenting Can shared sanitation in slums be adequate sanitation?

Tuesday 25 August

9:00-10:30, Room FH Little Theatre
Eye on Asia: taking actions for a water secure Asia
Convenors: Asia Pacific Water Forum, Asian Development Bank, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, World Wide Fund for Nature
Dr Katrina Charles presenting Reducing water security risks for the poor

9:00-10:30, Room NL Music Hall / Musiksalen
Sustainable finance for universal rural water services
Convenors: University of Oxford, Grundfos, UNICEF, GSMA
Dr Rob Hope will lead a session providing new evidence of models that advance sustainable finance in Africa.
Tim Foster presenting Mobile water payment systems

11:00-12:30, Room NL 357
Information technologies for a smarter water future
Convenors: @aqua, Akvo Foundation, DHI, Stockholm International Water Institute
Patrick Thomson presenting Distributed monitoring of shallow aquifer level using community handpumps
This presentation will also be part of the interactive poster exhibition in the FH Congress Hall Foyer. Poster presenters will be available for questions during the coffee breaks at 10:30-11:00 and 15:30-16:00

Wednesday 26 August

9:00-10:30, FH Congress Hall B
Water as a driver for sustainable development and poverty eradication
Convenors: Stockholm International Water Institute, The World Bank Group, WaterAid, We Effect
Johanna Koehler presenting Pump-priming payments for sustainable water services in rural Africa.

Thursday 27 August

14:00-15:30, Room FH 307
(Re)thinking governance
Convenors: University of Nebraska, Stockholm International Water Institute, UNDP Water Governance Facility, Water Integrity Network
Johanna Koehler presenting Can decentralisation improve water security and promote equitable post-2015 development?

Schedule of activities at the booth

Monday 24 August

10:30-11:00
Groundwater risk, growth and development
Dr Rob Hope and Patrick Thomson

11:00-14:00
REACH: Improving water security for the poor
Dr Rob Hope and Dr Katrina Charles

14:00-15:30
Smart Handpumps
Patrick Thomson and Johanna Koehler

Tuesday 25 August

15:30-16:00
Meet the DPhils
Johanna Koehler, Tim Foster, Julian Kirchherr

Wednesday 26 August

14:00-17:30
MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management (WSPM) alumni

Thursday 27 August

14:00-16:00
Applying to Oxford University

Pump-priming payments for sustainable water services in rural Africa

A new article published in World Development discusses ways to overcome barriers to the financial sustainability of rural water services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Locally managed handpumps provide water services to around 200 million people in rural Africa. Handpump failures often result in extended service disruption leading to high but avoidable financial, health, and development costs.

A study by Johanna Koehler, Patrick Thomson and Dr Robert Hope at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment uses unique observational data from monitoring handpump usage in rural Kenya. The authors evaluate how dramatic improvements in maintenance services influence payment preferences.

Results reveal steps to enhance rural water supply sustainability by pooling maintenance and financial risks at scale supported by advances in monitoring and payment technologies.

The authors argue that there are three major barriers to achieving regular rural water user payments to promote financial sustainability:

  • Institutional barriers indicate that the organisational structure of the user group influences the regular collection of user fees from all handpump users.
  • Due to geographic barriers handpump density in certain areas can negatively impact payment behavior.
  • Operational barriers frequently cause handpumps to remain unrepaired for an extended period, discouraging users from paying, as the source is considered unreliable. This constitutes a downward spiral with the risk of long-term failure in service delivery.

Three major findings are identified to prime rural water user payments in Africa. First, a reliable and fast maintenance service is key to sustaining rural water user payments. Second, these payments are subject to demand, which is related to the spatial distribution of handpumps. Hence, clustering should be avoided for financially sustainable services and new handpump installations determined by verifiable metrics. Third, the management of community handpumps takes several forms along the public–private spectrum. Almost half of the handpumps self-organise in clubs and choose a semi-privatised model with a higher payment structure.

Understanding operational, geographic, and institutional barriers of rural water user payments contributes to developing an innovative, output-based payment model for rural water services in Africa. The real test will be if users support the introduction of a new payment system, which acknowledges the higher value for money that the new maintenance service system creates. This research indicates that the communities support such reforms if reliable services are delivered.

The findings offer pathways toward the suggested water targets of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda promoting, inter alia, universal and sustainable access to safe drinking water and raising service standards, as well as robust and effective water governance with more effective institutions and administrative systems.

The study demonstrates the need for continuous monitoring of rural water services, as well as suggesting strategies for achieving this. Water service performance data are key to defining a baseline and measuring progress toward sustainable services at the local level, for operationalising a maintenance service provider model at the supra-communal level and testing an output-based payment model at the national and international levels.

The Government of Kenya’s Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) acknowledges the importance of such performance data ‘enabling WASREB to ensure that satisfactory performance levels are achieved and maintained, and enhancing transparency and accountability within the rural sector’ (WASREB, 2014, p. 79). Thus, the data can support and monitor national policy goals that promote progress toward universal access and more reliable improved water services for the rural poor.

Related links

Koehler, J., Thomson, P. and Hope, R. (2015) Pump-priming payments for sustainable water services in rural Africa. World Development, 74: 397-411.

Smart Water Systems research

The Government of Kenya’s Water Services Regulatory Board Impact Report (2014)