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Skat Foundation, Water Mission and Aguaconsult are members of a consortium led by The Aquaya Institute that has been awarded a five-year, $18.9 million Cooperative Agreement from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Rural Evidence and Learning for Water (REAL-Water) program. REAL-Water will evaluate strategies for expanding access to safe and sustainable rural water across the developing world.

Eight out of ten people without basic water services live in rural areas. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires a thorough understanding of rural water supply challenges and solutions.

The Rural Evidence and Learning for Water (REAL-Water) program will support research on three primary topics:
1. Professionalization of rural water service delivery
2. Strengthening of water quality monitoring in rural areas
3. Improved planning for water resources

REAL-Water will support policy makers, development partners, and service providers to make strategic decisions and implement best practices for water management through implementation research. It will also ensure coordination with related USAID programs that contribute to the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and Water Resources Management (WRM) knowledge base, in alignment with the USAID Water for the World Implementation Research Agenda.

REAL-Water is an initiative of the Center for Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene (CWSSH) in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security with support from the Office for Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health.

REAL-Water partners include:
1. Aguaconsult, United Kingdom - Co-lead of RWSN Sustainable Services Theme
2. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), India
3. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana - past RWSN collaborator on WASHTech
4. Skat Foundation - RWSN Secretariat and Lead of RWSN Self-supply Theme
5. Safe Water Network, USA
6. Water Mission, USA - Co-lead of RWSN Sustainable Groundwater Development Theme