Tag Archive | sustainability

USAID and Rotary International adopt innovative sustainability monitoring tool

USAID and Rotary International adopt innovative sustainability monitoring tool

By Harold Lockwood  – This is great news and fantastic to see USAID adopting and promoting this approach which aims to really track and better understand the underlying causes of poor sustainability in the WASH sector. Sustaining WASH services is complex and dependent not only the hardware (the pumps, latrines and pipes), but also a […]

USAID’s new water strategy – when the numbers don’t add up

USAID’s new water strategy – when the numbers don’t add up

By Harold Lockwood  (Aguaconsult) Well, probably it’s a cliché, but the USAID water strategy has had the gestation period of an elephant, but the good news is that now it’s out and its congratulations to the team in the water office of USAID for pulling this together and for bringing a clear focus on water […]

Alice in waterland: a fantasy

Alice in waterland: a fantasy

This story is fictional. Any resemblance to real situations or persons is pure coincidence. When Alice stepped through the mirroring water surface into waterland, the first creature she came across was a rabbit, wearing a UN-blue jacket, looking frantically at its watch. “It is nearly time. Only three more years to go till 2015. So […]

Don’t shoot the messenger, but embrace the sad stats

Don’t shoot the messenger, but embrace the sad stats

Driven amongst others by the mobile phone applications, more and more statistics are becoming available on the state of water services. These go well beyond the coverage data we were used to in the JMP reports (and which this year gave us some reason to be mildly optimistic). The new stats provide more insight into […]

Overcoming the danger zone

On April 20, Ministers of Water and Sanitation from around the world will meet with their Ministers of Finance in Washington D.C. as part of the Sanitation and Water (SWA) for All High Level Meeting. There, they will discuss sector goals and progress, and it goes without saying that the recent announcement that the Millennium […]

The naked truth

In this video, Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People tells the naked truth about many water systems in Africa, and elsewhere. An honest account of sustainability problems facing the sector.

Monitoring: critical mass or critical mess?

Chinda is a small rural municipality, of some 5000 people, spread out over 15 hamlets in Western Honduras. This week I had the opportunity to carry out a case study of the work of the NGO Water For People (WFP) in this municipality. One of the issues observed and discussed during the study was monitoring […]

Can the recognition of the right to water contribute to more sustainable water services delivery?

The other day I had a heated discussion with a human rights lawyer on the merits, drawbacks and possible implications of the recognition of the right to water. Although I welcome the principle behind it, as a self-declared sceptic on about everything, I have my reservations on its practical potential. A specific question that interests […]

Running dry? Or will my water supply last?

The Netherlands is not the first country to spring to mind when the word drought is mentioned. But we are now in the midst of one, as according to meteorologist it has been the driest spring in decades. Most people enjoy the nice sunny weather. But it starts to get worrying. Various consecutive evenings there […]

Is rural water supply a left-wing hobby?

The latest trend in Dutch politics is to label anything of parties of another political colour as hobbyism. It started with one of the parties to the right of the political spectrum denouncing activities such as subsidizing theatre, development cooperation and promoting green energy as left-wing hobbies. The parties to the left couldn’t stay behind […]

Hundred years of sustainability

How long is sustainable? 5 years? 20 years? 100 years? From here to eternity? This is a relevant question to ask in the context of rural water supplies, where the quest for sustainability has been going on for as long as modern water supplies have been developed. As engineers, we have often talked in terms […]