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This case study investigates the support given by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Department (DWSD), Government of Jharkhand, to community service providers for rural water supply and assesses the level of service achieved through this arrangement. A majority of consumers in the 'best practice' villages were found to receive acceptable service levels, which confirms the effectiveness of service provision. However, only 15% to 42% of households are connected to the piped water scheme, whilst the rest rely on other sources. In best practice villages, 33% of users access quantities classified as unacceptable and 37% receive water for less than one hour a day, which shows that major challenges remain.

The study found functioning Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSC) that manage water supply in all villages. The community is involved in decision making through village meetings. The type of service provision was classified as community management with direct support, bordering on direct public provisioning, especially because of the heavy financial subsidy for operational expenses. The VWSCs have effective mechanisms for accounting and managing cash, whilst improvements could be made in the area of water security planning. Each VWSC has a 'Jal Sahiya' (water volunteer), selected from the daughters in law of the village, who acts as a treasurer and is responsible for water quality testing.

DWSD is responsible for implementing rural water supply schemes and supporting service providers. The department scored highly on its technical performance and interaction with external institutions. Support is given by training committee members and through technical and financial assistance for operation and maintenance. Systematic retraining new committee members would ensure that capacity is not lost when Jal Sahiyas change. In the studied villages, the department often pays for spares and some minor repairs are done by department staff, however, according to DWSD guidelines the VWSC is responsible for all operation and maintenance, which shows the somewhat unclear support arrangement. The department provides a matching grant to the audited records of user tariff collection, which incentivises VWSC to collect them. Furthermore the electricity bills are paid by the department, which represents a major subsidy.

Total recurrent support costs were found to be INR 69 per person and year. Of this, INR 15 are direct support costs, INR 53 support for operation and maintenance and INR 1 for indirect support. Costs for initial training and capacity building were estimated at INR 3 per person, which is less than 1% of the costs for initial construction of infrastructure. The service providers pay their staff salaries from tariff collection, which represents about 27% of operating expenses.

TitleUnderstanding resource implications of the “plus” in community management of rural water supply systems in India : the case of DWSD in Jharkand
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDash, P.C., Panda, P.K., Sinha, R., Javorszky, M.
Pagination53 p. : 8 fig., 27 tab.
Date Published07/2015
PublisherIRC, Cranfield University, Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS)
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
Abstract

This case study investigates the support given by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Department (DWSD), Government of Jharkhand, to community service providers for rural water supply and assesses the level of service achieved through this arrangement. A majority of consumers in the 'best practice' villages were found to receive acceptable service levels, which confirms the effectiveness of service provision. However, only 15% to 42% of households are connected to the piped water scheme, whilst the rest rely on other sources. In best practice villages, 33% of users access quantities classified as unacceptable and 37% receive water for less than one hour a day, which shows that major challenges remain.

The study found functioning Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSC) that manage water supply in all villages. The community is involved in decision making through village meetings. The type of service provision was classified as community management with direct support, bordering on direct public provisioning, especially because of the heavy financial subsidy for operational expenses. The VWSCs have effective mechanisms for accounting and managing cash, whilst improvements could be made in the area of water security planning. Each VWSC has a 'Jal Sahiya' (water volunteer), selected from the daughters in law of the village, who acts as a treasurer and is responsible for water quality testing.

DWSD is responsible for implementing rural water supply schemes and supporting service providers. The department scored highly on its technical performance and interaction with external institutions. Support is given by training committee members and through technical and financial assistance for operation and maintenance. Systematic retraining new committee members would ensure that capacity is not lost when Jal Sahiyas change. In the studied villages, the department often pays for spares and some minor repairs are done by department staff, however, according to DWSD guidelines the VWSC is responsible for all operation and maintenance, which shows the somewhat unclear support arrangement. The department provides a matching grant to the audited records of user tariff collection, which incentivises VWSC to collect them. Furthermore the electricity bills are paid by the department, which represents a major subsidy.

Total recurrent support costs were found to be INR 69 per person and year. Of this, INR 15 are direct support costs, INR 53 support for operation and maintenance and INR 1 for indirect support. Costs for initial training and capacity building were estimated at INR 3 per person, which is less than 1% of the costs for initial construction of infrastructure. The service providers pay their staff salaries from tariff collection, which represents about 27% of operating expenses.

Notes

Includes 19 ref.

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