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Comparative performance of rural water supplies during drought

As rural African communities experience more frequent and extreme droughts, it is increasingly important that water supplies are climate resilient. Using a unique temporal dataset we explore rural water supply (n = 5196) performance during the 2015–16 drought in Ethiopia. Mean functionality ranged from 60% for motorised boreholes to 75% for hand-pumped boreholes. Real-time monitoring and responsive operation and maintenance led to rapid increases in functionality of hand-pumped and, to a lesser extent, motorised boreholes. Increased demand was placed on motorised boreholes in lowland areas as springs, hand-dug-wells and open sources failed. Most users travelled >1 h to access motorised boreholes but 30 m) groundwater performed best during the drought. Prioritising access to groundwater via multiple improved sources and a portfolio of technologies, such as hand-pumped and motorised boreholes, supported by responsive and proactive operation and maintenance, increases rural water supply resilience. [author abstract]

TitleComparative performance of rural water supplies during drought
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMacAllister, D. J., MacDonald, A. M., Kebede, S., Godfrey, S., Calow, R.
Secondary TitleNature Communications
Volume11
Issue1
Pagination1-13 : 7 fig. 1 tab.
Date Published03/2020
Publication LanguageEnglish
Abstract

As rural African communities experience more frequent and extreme droughts, it is increasingly important that water supplies are climate resilient. Using a unique temporal dataset we explore rural water supply (n = 5196) performance during the 2015–16 drought in Ethiopia. Mean functionality ranged from 60% for motorised boreholes to 75% for hand-pumped boreholes. Real-time monitoring and responsive operation and maintenance led to rapid increases in functionality of hand-pumped and, to a lesser extent, motorised boreholes. Increased demand was placed on motorised boreholes in lowland areas as springs, hand-dug-wells and open sources failed. Most users travelled >1 h to access motorised boreholes but 30 m) groundwater performed best during the drought. Prioritising access to groundwater via multiple improved sources and a portfolio of technologies, such as hand-pumped and motorised boreholes, supported by responsive and proactive operation and maintenance, increases rural water supply resilience. [author abstract]

Notes

Includes 64 ref.

DOI10.1038/s41467-020-14839-3
Short TitleNature Communications

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.