With more water infrastructure and management structures in place in many countries, there is a need to focus on strengthening mechanisms and approaches for ensuring that systems provide sustainable rural water services that meet norms and standards in terms of quantity, quality, reliability and accessibility, to meet the criteria of the human right to safe water. This implies clearly mandated service providers carry out operation, maintenance and administrative functions and that they are overseen and supported by relevant service authorities. Furthermore, these need for financing mechanisms to cover all life-cycle costs related to the provision of sustainable water supply services.

The Sustainable Services theme of RWSN brings together sector professionals with an interest in sharing, understanding and defining management and support arrangements. The theme builds on previous work done within RWSN, including work on the supply chains for spare parts and the development of frameworks for operation and maintenance.

In the 2015-2017 strategy, the focus is on:


For this topic, emphasis will be on facilitating a sector discussion on the future of rural water services and the role of community management, building on the 2013 Webinar Series and the session at the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm. The topic professionalisation covers all technologies used for rural water supplies.

Financing life-cycle costs

Emphasis will be on enhancing capacity in the sector to undertake lifecycle costing as well as asset management for rural water supply, and the use of this in planning and budgeting at local government level. Building on the outcomes of the 2014 e-discussion on local governments, advocacy messages will be developed on the need for public financing of local government to play its designated role in water service provision.


To find out more or to get involved, join the Management & Support community on dgroups.

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