What is MUS?

Rural and peri-urban people need water for drinking, cooking, washing, sanitation, watering animals, growing food and generating income. Multiple-use water services (MUS) take people’s water needs as the starting point. By looking at all water needs and available water resources holistically, it is possible to make more cost-effective and sustainable investments that generate a broader range of health and livelihood benefits than is possible with single-use systems.

Why MUS?

The reality is that many people use domestic water services for a variety of productive purposes, including fisheries, livestock, home gardens and small-scale enterprises, and irrigation services as well as domestic needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and sanitation. If these uses are not planned for, the result is often damage to systems and conflicts between users.

How to do MUS?

Moving from basic supplies to MUS requires planning for higher levels of service in terms of the quantities of water supplied and distance from point of use. Intermediate-level MUS provides the highest benefit-cost ratio. In most of sub-Saharan Africa, upgrading to this level of service would mean doubling or tripling current volumes supplied, of which only 3–5 lpcd would need to be of high enough quality for drinking and cooking.

RWSN collaborates with the MUS Group because we recognise that rural people need water for more than just drinking and cooking. In 2014, we hosted an e-discussion that looked at MUS from different perspectives, and the synthesis is available below:

Related Resources

Using irrigation to kick-start multiple-use water services for small-scale farmers in Malawi: a case study of the Nkhata Bay district, Malawi

Irrigation schemes are an important part of meeting the national agenda in Malawi, yet the design and management of these schemes have not taken advantage of emerging approaches that could improve their performance. One such idea is the concept of multiple‐use water services (MUS). This case study focuses on rural irrigation systems in the Nkhata Bay District, evaluating system usage, profiles of the irrigators, and barriers to irrigation to identify opportunities to kick‐start MUS using existing organizational structures. Interviews were conducted with 141 respondents from 5 functioning irrigation sections. The study found that there are already systems in place for cooperation, with both the government and communities each contributing to long‐term sustainability. Basic MUS could advance the water–energy–food–health nexus and build more resilient communities. The following recommendations would enable communities and development partners to advance irrigation‐based MUS in Malawi: (i) target long‐established, committed, farmer groups; (ii) provide reliable and sustainable local technologies to lift water; (iii) improve access to markets and inputs to support higher‐value cash crops being grown on irrigated land; (iv) create an overlap between community‐level irrigation and borehole committees, private sectors, local government ministries and development partners | »

Proceedings and report from the 7th RWSN Forum (2016, Abidjan) Contributions et rapport du 7ème Forum RWSN (2016, Abidjan)

The 2016 Rural Water Supply Network Forum in Abidjan was the first global gathering to consider the practical challenge of how everyone worldwide can get access to safe, affordable water by 2030. It was also the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country, in the 25 years since the creation of the network.
The Forum took place on 29 Nov - 2 Dec 2016, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and gathered 467 rural water sector practitioners from over 300 organisations from 64 countries in Africa, Asia, Americas, and Europe, in a bilingual (English/French) four day event. It was opened by the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Daniel Kaplan Duncan. We were joined by HE State Minster James Dengchol Tot, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, as well as a delegation from AMCOW.

Le Forum du Rural Water Supply Network 2016 à Abidjan était le premier évènement global à considerer les défis liés à l’approvisionnement en eau potable et abordable pour tous d’ici 2030 d’un point de vue pratique. C’était également le premier à avoir lieu dans un pays francophone depuis la creation du réseau il y a 25 ans.
Le Forum a réuni 467 professionnels du secteur de l’eau rurale de 300 organisations et de 64 pays d’Afrique, Asie, Amérique, et de l’Europe, pendant 4 jours en deux langues (anglais et français). La cérémonie d’ouverture a été présidée par le Premier minister de Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Daniel Kaplan Duncan. Son Excellence le Ministre d’Etat James Dengchol Tot, Ministre de l’Eau, Irrigation et Electricité en Ethiopie, ainsi qu’une délégation de AMCOW.

The Forum proceedings compiles all peer-reviewed materials. Separate downloads and links to the films can be found at: https://rwsn7.net/content/
Le documents sur les contributions du Forum rassemble tous les articles évalués. Pour les télécharger et visualiser les films, veuillez vous référer à https://rwsn7.net/content/

The RWSN Forum report gives an overview of the Forum programme and its organisation, including the highlights from the presentations, networking events, exhibition, media coverage and synthesis.
Le rapport du Forum donne un aperçu du programme du Forum et de son organisation, y compris les points forts des présentations, des évènements de réseautage, de l'expo, de la couverture médiatique et de la synthèse. | »

Optimizing Intensified Runoff from Roads for Supplemental Irrigation: Tigray Region, Ethiopia UNESCO-IHE MSc Thesis

From the UPGro Catalyst Project "Optimising Road Development for Groundwater Recharge and Retention"

This research has demonstrated that the road in the study area is having significant negative impact to the agricultural livelihoods, but that also it has a huge potential to be a key contributor to the enhancement of the livelihoods. The three major recommendations are :( 1) for the betterment of the impacts, it is suggested that Roads for water harvesting and multiple uses be mainstreamed in educational systems (2) There should be integration between relevant institutions and authorities (ERA, MoA as well as regional and zonal line offices) in making future road development plans. And (3) Awareness generation should be done to encourage farmers utilize the runoff from roads for productive purposes. Moreover, technical assistance and training's needs to be delivered at grass-root level. | »

Multiple Use Water Services - Potential and Challenges for Rural Dwellers (English/Francais/Espanol). E-Discussion on Multiple use water services, 28th of April – 24th of May 2014.

Multiple Use Water Services - Potential and Challenges for Rural Dwellers.
E-Discussion on Multiple use water services, 28th of April – 24th of May 2014.

Service d’eau à usage multiple - Potentiel et défis pour les habitants en milieu rural.
Discussion en ligne sur les services d’eau à usage multiple, le 28 Avril – 24 Mai 2014.

Servicios de uso múltiple del agua - El potencial y los desafíos para su adopción en áreas rurales
Discusión electrónica sobre los servicios de uso múltiple del agua, del 28 de abril al 24 de mayo de 2014

https://dgroups.org/RWSN/selfsupply/mus/join | »

International Conference on Manual Irrigation Proceedings HTN Working Paper: WP 01/96

This document reports the proceedings of the International Conference on Manual Irrigation held September 4-8, 1995. The conference took place at the Toshali Sands Hotel in Puri, India and included field visits to manual irrigation sites in the state of Orissa. | »

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