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TitleLife-cycle costs approach (LCCA) for sustainable WASH service delivery: a study in rural Andhra Pradesh, India
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsV. Reddy, R, Jayakumar, N, Venkataswamy, M, Snehalatha, M, Rao, MSRammohan, Batchelor, C, Amachandrudru, MV
Pagination16 p.; 10 refs.; 7 fig.; 3 tab.
Date Published2011-11-16
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Keywordsdrinking water, india, india andhra pradesh, rural areas, rural communities, rural development, sustainability, WASHCost

This paper illustrates the usefulness of the life-cycle costs approach (LCCA) framework and methodology in addressing slippage and sustainability issues in the WASH sector in the State of Andhra Pradesh (AP), India. The paper examines the actual cost of provision in 40 villages spread over two agro-climatic zones by cost components and identifies the gaps in (public) investments and how these gaps are responsible for poor, inequitable and unsustainable service delivery. The analysis brings out clearly that government expenditure on WASH is almost exclusively capital expenditure on infrastructure while other important cost components like planning and designing, capital maintenance, source sustainability, water quality, etc., receive little or no allocation. Moreover, the actual life of infrastructure is much less than the normative life span, which is the basis for cost estimates. This results in ad hoc investments in capital maintenance expenditure and poor service levels. The key message of the paper is that “the rural drinking water sector is underfunded and funding allocations for rural water are distorted”. It is argued that budget allocations to the drinking water sector need to be revised with due allocation for other important components such as source sustainability, capital maintenance, water quality and climate change, etc. The paper argues in favour of a paradigm shift in terms of developing a comprehensive and realistic costing mechanism that addresses various aspects of drinking water like slippage, water quality, etc. LCCA is one such tool that can contribute towards achieving water security at the household level.  [authors abstract]


Key message: ‘The rural drinking water sector is not only being underfunded but also receives distorted allocations’.

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