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Guidelines for planning and providing multiple-use water services

This manual synthesises various existing guidelines on the multiple-use water services (MUS) approach into one concise set of generic guidelines on 'how to do MUS'.

The MUS approach considers the multiple needs of (poor) water users, who take water from a number of sources, and communities' own priorities as the starting point for investments in new infrastructure, management arrangements, the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, or for improvements in management and governance. MUS approaches have been successfully piloted in over 20 low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The set of guidelines provide guidance on planning, developing and providing MUS based on the experiences of members of the MUS Group, which was established in 2006. The guidelines are targeted towards people and organisations already interested in applying or adapting the MUS approach in their specific context.

The guidelines are divided into four parts:

  • Part 1 provides the conceptual background, by introducing the main terms and concepts referred to in the guidelines.
  • Part 2 presents guidelines for planning and provision of multiple-use water services; introduces common elements; and describes the six identified common steps in detail, including suggestions for support tools.
  • Part 3 consists of guidelines for the creation of an enabling environment for MUS at intermediate and national levels, which focus on evidence-based advocacy for MUS and capacity development; suggestions for support tools are also included.
  • Part 4 provides a reference guide to the support tools mentioned in parts 2 and 3.

Annexes provide an overview of organisations with a special interest and experience in MUS, and overviews of the different elements and summaries of the various MUS guidelines presented.