Last updated: 12 Jun 2018
WHAT ARE WATER QUANTITY OR SUPPLY INTERVENTIONS?
Water quantity or supply interventions aim to improve access to water by providing new or improved water supply or distribution systems. Common interventions include the installation of a new hand pump, a household connection to a piped water supply, or a rainwater harvesting technology.
WHAT ARE HAND PUMPS?
Source: University of South Florida
Hand pumps, which have been around for centuries, can provide a cost-effective solution to allow the rural poor to gain access to clean water for drinking and other purposes. They are widely used in places where access to water is scarce and where financial resources for investment, operation, and maintenance are limited. Handpumps are capable of lifting small amounts of water from depths of up to 100 meters and allow the water source to be sealed, reducing the risk for potential source contamination during water collection. These characteristics make the inexpensive handpump an attractive option for rural water supply.
ARE THESE INTERVENTIONS EFFECTIVE?
Improving the microbiological quality of drinking water is protective against diarrhoea for people of all ages, particularly vulnerable children under the age of five, However, the actual effectiveness of such interventions vary considerably, depending on the specific programme implemented.
Furthermore, infrastructure maintenance has historically been a major problem in developing countries and in the rural water sector in particular. This calls into question the sustainability of water supply interventions.