Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019. WaterAid, March 19, 2019.
Some 4 billion people in the world live in physically water-scarce areas and 844 million don’t have access to clean water close to home.
The world’s water crisis is getting worse, yet globally we use six times as much water today as we did 100 years ago, driven by population growth and changes in diets and consumer habits.
This report reveals the countries where the largest populations live with physical water scarcity, how ballooning consumer demands jeopardize water access for the poorest and most marginalized people, and how making thoughtful choices as consumers can help ensure access to water for basic needs is prioritized – wherever you are in the world.
Systems Thinking and WASH: Tools and case studies for a sustainable water supply. Practical Action, February 2019.
Water supplies in developing countries fail at unacceptable rates. In an era of high technology and a global drive for sustainable water and sanitation (SDG6), we need to find solutions to the ‘wicked problems’ that characterize water for development programmes around the world.
Systems Thinking and WASH introduces practitioners, researchers, programme managers and donors to the tools and approaches that have been most successful in this area. This book explores the different applications of systems thinking used by an interdisciplinary group of WASH researchers and practitioners.
With additional commentary from the field, each chapter helps us to imagine different ways to understand and work with communities, development agencies and governments to create a better world through more appropriate WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programming.
The book includes an annotated list of additional resources that anyone interested in non-linearity, complex adaptive systems, systems thinking, social network analysis or system dynamics will find useful as a practical guide to getting started.
This book is highly important reading for WASH programme managers, government and NGO staff and donor agencies interested in the application of systems thinking techniques.
USAID’s Global Waters – February 2019
The Infrastructure Upgrade, Reimagined
In Peru, a new cross-sector initiative supported by USAID and the Government of Canada is moving toward an expansive vision of 21st-century water infrastructure that includes natural ecosystems, ancestral approaches, and people themselves.
Turning on the Water
In northeast Syria, USAID is collaborating with local partners to restore essential infrastructure such as pumps and wells, providing clean drinking water to more than 300,000 people.
Global Waters in Focus
Take an in-depth look at the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development, an international partnership that has worked in 35 countries to accelerate innovation in agriculture.
New updates are regularly added to Globalwaters.org. You may have missed:
I Tried to Save the World and Failed is by Larry Siegel of Safe Water International and the book discusses lessons he learned from working on rural drinking water projects in Mexico, Malawi and Cambodia. It is mostly a personal chronicle, but in the last chapter Larry lists the lessons learned.
Download/view the book (pdf, 10.4MB)
- Chapters 1 through 5 – The Story of SWI
- Chapter 6 – Lessons Learned in Sustainability
- Chapter 7 – Working with Church Groups in Malawi
- Chapter 8 – More SWI Experiences in Malawi
- Chapter 9 – If You Build It, Fix it
- Chapter 10 – National Training Centers
- Chapter 11 – Saving the World
- Chapter 12 – So What Did I Really Learn
Water Quality – Water Currents, February 12, 2019
Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces. More than 1,300 children under 5 years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation. The U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and the USAID Water and Development Plan in support of the strategy include a focus on increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water, recognizing it as crucial to lifting people out of poverty and especially important for unlocking educational and economic opportunities for women and girls.
This issue of Water Currents looks at water quality—specifically drinking water—and includes research and technical resources on water safety plans, water quality monitoring, and chemical and microbial hazards in water. A special thanks goes out to the staff of Sattva for contributing to this issue. Sattva is a key member of the SAFEBillion initiative, a collaborative effort to create solutions for access to clean drinking water, free from arsenic and fluoride.
Standards and Guidance
Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality (GDWQ). World Health Organization (WHO), 2017. This is the fourth edition of the Guidelines and it builds on over 50 years of guidance by WHO on drinking-water quality. The report also includes fact sheets on a broad range of chemicals that can affect water quality.
Developing Drinking-Water Quality Regulations and Standards. WHO, 2018. This document provides practical guidance to support the development or revision of customized national or subnational drinking water quality regulations and standards.
Safely Managed Drinking Water: Thematic Report on Drinking Water 2017. WHO; UNICEF, 2017. WHO/UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) introduced “safely managed drinking water services” as a new standard of drinking water quality in its 2017 report, which examines this new designation in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Read the complete issue.
Turning on the Water: USAID Collaborates with Local Partners to Restore Water Access to Northeast Syria. Global Waters, February 8, 2019.
“It really is an exciting thing to turn back on the water,” says USAID’s Development Advisor David Isaak. “It gives communities some sense of normalcy, that things are coming back to life.”
Before the outbreak of war in 2011, millions of Syrians had their water consistently delivered through a vast network of pipes and thousands of large-scale pumps. Nearly all Syrians enjoyed access to potable water, and massive man-made canals irrigated the arid northeastern countryside, which facilitated a productive agricultural economy.
USAID’s Syria Essential Services (SES II) project helped rehabilitate this well in southwest Syria and installed solar panels to power the pumps. Photo credit: USAID/SES II
The conflict took a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, often deliberately as a tool of war: aerial campaigns and/or improvised explosive devices targeted miles of water networks and destroyed thousands of water pumps. Other water pumps were simply abandoned after the massive civilian exodus.
Read the complete article in USAID’s Global Waters Stories.
Household Water Security Experiences (HWISE) scale
OUR MISSION: TO DEVELOP A CROSS-CULTURALLY VALIDATED SCALE THAT MEASURES HOUSEHOLD-LEVEL WATER INSECURITY
Water insecurity is widely recognized as a burgeoning global health issue. Unfortunately, the extreme consequences of drought and water scarcity are projected to become more prevalent due to climate change – increasing water salinity, prolonged dry periods, poorer agricultural conditions.
Despite this, the scientific community lacks the tools to meaningfully measure the issue of household water insecurity, a measurement that is necessary to identify high-risk communities for policy planning and program development.
A variety of data and indicators currently exist to capture water insecurity at the macro-level. However, no scales currently capture the unique experiences of water insecure individuals. We hope to fill this gap by developing a cross-culturally validated scale that measures household water insecurity.
This tool will enable scientists, program developers, and community leaders to determine the magnitude of water insecurity, to track its change over time, and to measure the effectiveness of various interventions.