Effective WASH sector adaptation to climate change through improved governance
Over the past year, discussions have being going on within the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector on the possible implications of climate change on services provisions, and the practical adaptation measures that could or should be taken by the sector. Although not conclusive, two important points of agreement have emerged as a result of these discussions. First, climate change predictions are characterized by high levels of uncertainty, particularly at the spatial scales at which most decisions on WASH services provision are made. Second, while it should be taken very seriously, climate change is not the only, and probably not the most important, factor to consider in the short and medium term. This paper argues that the most effective approach to adaptation is to strengthen governance of the WASH sector, for example by adopting principles of adaptive management and by using tools such as scenario building as an integral part of decision-making. In addition, it calls for better embedding of WASH services provision within an integrated water resource management framework.
Multiple-use water services: climbing the water ladder
This article presents findings of the action-research project on the what, why and how of ‘multiple-use water services’ or MUS, supported by the Challenge Program on Water and Food (active in 30 sites in 8 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia). The consortium of partners from the domestic and productive water sectors pioneered the implementation of two models of MUS on the ground: homestead-scale MUS and community-scale MUS. Further, through learning alliances of 150 institutions, the project pilot-tested ways to scale-up MUS among intermediate- and national-level water service providers. Key lessons for scaling up by water users’ movements, NGOs, the domestic sector, the productive sector and local government are discussed. Also in the light of the growing recognition of MUS across the globe, further innovation and implementation at scale are warranted to tap the many identifi ed opportunities of MUS compared with single-use approaches.
Effects of multiple-use of water on users' livelihoods and sustainability of rural water supply services in Honduras
The de facto use of rural water supply systems for productive purposes is a practice that has only recently received recognition in Honduras. This paper presents the results of 14 case studies, which focus on the role of multiple-use of water in people's livelihoods as well as on sustainability in service provision. The extent of this practice differs significantly between different user categories, and ranges from the use of small amounts of water for a backyard garden and some animals, to complementary irrigation of field crops or livestock at commercial scale, though in this case often private sources of water are used. This de facto multiple use of water supply may bring risks to the sustainability of service provision. However, a number of relatively simple measures can be considered in regulating water use, thereby mitigating the risks. By adopting such measures more widely certain degrees of multiple-use of water can be accommodated into service provision without causing negative impacts, while still maintaining the positive impact on users’ livelihoods.