Sustainability issues of MDG-focussed programmes in the rural water sector
Document typeConference report
PublisherUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Servei de Publicacions
Rights accessOpen Access
By 2015, to halve the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation has become a top priority in many developing countries (Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals -MDGs-). International concern towards water sector is rapidly increasing and significant investments are envisaged for the next decade. Sector-related policies and strategies aspire to increase prevalent low water supply coverage, particularly in rural areas. Nevertheless, rural water supply programs in developing countries frequently fail to deliver benefits to society in the long run. There is thus a strong need to focus on sustainability issues to prevent new water infrastructure which has to be built from breaking down. In this study we evaluate the rural water sector along this dimension. Its particular aim is twofold. The research first seeks to deepen into the analysis of all key factors which affect long-term functionality of rural water interventions. Second, the authors highlight the need to foster academic debate around relative influence of all these interelated aspects on sustainability of community water supplies. Aimed at identifying the most costeffective alternative, debate should focus on differentiating the essential aspects required to guarantee functionality of water supplies from those which are important but not indispensable.