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With rising coverage figures and the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals, there is increasing attention given to assessing and monitoring the sustainability of water services. Previous efforts in the rural water supply sector have included the development of sustainability checks, while in the urban water supply sector, benchmarking of water services and the performance of utilities has become common practice. This paper argues that neither rural sustainability checks, nor urban benchmarking frameworks, are entirely suitable for monitoring small town water services. It presents a framework specifically developed and applied for assessing and monitoring small town water services. Application of the framework in seven small towns in Ethiopia shows significant discrepancies between the ideal and actual situations. It reveals specific challenges related to sustainable small town water service provision, including capacity at service provider (utility) level, asset management and regulation. The costs of sustainability checks and prospects for uptake as project and wider sector tools are discussed. [author abstract]

TitleSmall town water services sustainability checks : development and application in Ethiopia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAdank, M., Godfrey, S., Butterworth, J., Defere, E.
Secondary TitleWater Policy
Volume20
IssueS1
Pagination52–68
Date Published03/2018
PublisherIRC
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number1366-7017
Abstract

With rising coverage figures and the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals, there is increasing attention given to assessing and monitoring the sustainability of water services. Previous efforts in the rural water supply sector have included the development of sustainability checks, while in the urban water supply sector, benchmarking of water services and the performance of utilities has become common practice. This paper argues that neither rural sustainability checks, nor urban benchmarking frameworks, are entirely suitable for monitoring small town water services. It presents a framework specifically developed and applied for assessing and monitoring small town water services. Application of the framework in seven small towns in Ethiopia shows significant discrepancies between the ideal and actual situations. It reveals specific challenges related to sustainable small town water service provision, including capacity at service provider (utility) level, asset management and regulation. The costs of sustainability checks and prospects for uptake as project and wider sector tools are discussed. [author abstract]

Notes

Incl. 33 ref.

DOI10.2166/wp.2018.004

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