SDG6: Searching for universal sustainability metrics for rural water services

IRC; Rural Water Supply Network; SNV; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; The World Bank Group; United Nations Children’s Fund and WaterAid

SDG6, which includes universal water access by 2030, is a formidable challenge for countries struggling to maintain existing services. 30-40% of rural water systems in developing countries under-perform or are broken, sometimes soon after construction. Better monitoring is needed to target post-construction support. Urban water has standardised performance metrics for utilities but rural enjoys no such consolidation. There is rapid innovation around the world, but diverse metrics are used. The JMP provides better monitoring of service levels, but not yet of their sustainability. 

The session presents evolving metrics of performance and sustainability of rural water services and discusses the feasibility of agreed core metrics. The session uses ignite-style presentations from the convenors showcasing experiences, followed by analysis of commonalities and differences:

  • Simplified sustainability checklists for country monitoring;
  • An assessment of rural water monitoring to aid convergence of sustainability indicators;
  • Determining drivers of groundwater supply underperformance;
  • Post-implementation sustainability monitoring by local actors;
  • Process for the definition, adoption and expansion of common metrics among different countries.

Panellists from governments and rural service providers will debate desirability and feasibility of universal core-indicators across diverse contexts, and how governments can include them in national monitoring and incentivise better service delivery and water safety.

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Wednesday 16:00-17:30
NL Pillar Hall / Pelarsalen
Register to the week
Union Parishad water record keeping in Bangladesh (photo: Sean Furey/Skat)
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