RWSN Newsletter – September 2011

Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)

September 2011

A Word from the Chair

It’s all systems ‘go’ in RWSN right now. Final preparations are under way for the global Forum in Kampala at the end of November – the first since the 2006 RWSN Forum in Accra. Meanwhile planning is taking place for our participation in the World Water Forum in Marseille next year, an opportunity to really raise the profile of Rural Water. Much thought is going into ways of involving the wider membership of RWSN in thematic groups and wider networking. We have just welcomed a new member to the Executive Steering Committee – Elizabeth Kleemeier from the World Bank, taking over from Christophe Prevost of WSP. We are re-vamping the RWSN website over the next few months. At the same time work continues on publications, planning and fund-raising in order to continue producing high-quality evidence-based peer-reviewed materials for rural water practitioners. We look forward to meeting many of you in Kampala, but for those who will be unable to attend, please continue to participate virtually and actively!

Professor Richard Carter, Head of Technical Support at WaterAid
Chair of the Rural Water Supply Network

Hello again!

2011 is racing passed and all eyes are on the 6th RWSN Forum in Kampala in November. We had a great response to the Call for Papers which we will be squeezing into the outline programme. We can announce some exciting sponsored-seminars and you can keep up to date and book your place, or exhibition stand, through our new RWSN Forum website. You can also win a trip the forum and a cash prize by entering our Cost Effective Boreholes competition.

It is a really exciting time for the network with the launch of a new strategy, the addition of Elizabeth Kleemeier of the World Bank to the Executive Steering Committee, and the news that RWSN has been asked to take the lead on the rural water supply target at the World Water Forum in Marseille, next year. Plus there are the regular updates on useful resources, member news and events.

Pour les francophones – Si vous souhaitez recevoir le bulletin trimestriel en français, veuillez nous écrire un e-mail à intitulé Bulletin Trimestriel en français. Nous sommes graduellement en phase d’introduire un réseau bilingue (français et anglais). Comme deuxième étape de ce processus nous avons groupé toute la littérature en français actuellement disponible sur notre site Web en une seule place. Merci de visiter le lien

6th International RWSN Forum, Kampala

The countdown to the Forum has begun and it is shaping up to be a great event. We had a fantastic response to the Call for Papers and delegate places are booking up really fast. A big feature of the Forum is that there will be simultaneous translation between English and French and as much material as possible will be provided in both languages. This is our next step towards becoming a fully bilingual network.

New RWSN Forum Website

To provide more information to those interested in the Forum we have set up a special website ( It will be updated regularly with news and information on bookings, accommodation and the programme. You can also find photos and the Proceedings report from the 5th RWSN Forum in Ghana (2006).


We received 60 short papers, 20 long papers, 19 films and 10 posters – that’s 111 submissions that had to be reviewed and assessed. Submissions came in from contributors and projects in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, DR Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia and more. Thank you to all the authors, and the team of reviewers, for all their hard work. It has been a tough job trying to decide what goes in and what has to be rejected. In the end, we added parallel sessions so that now there is space for about 75 presentations and films.

Book your place!

240 people have pre-registered so far, over 80 have paid and more are coming in each day, so to avoid disappoint book your place fast because numbers are limited. The price is US$450 for international delegates and US$150 if you live and work in Uganda. You can download the booking form from: (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)


We have made space available for exhibition stands in a marquee next immediately adjacent to the conference centre. If you have a produce or service that you would like to promote or a publication you would like to distribute or sell, then this is a fantastic opportunity to reach 400 rural water supply professionals from all over the world. Exhibition space is available from only US$83 per square meter for the three days. This includes a delegate pass. For more information visit the exhibition section of the Forum website:

Outline Programme

The main Forum will take place over three days (Tue/Wed/Thu) and on Friday there will be field trips and some additional specialist seminars being run by RWSN partners.

We will be announcing key speakers soon, but a wide range of stakeholders are presenting. This includes Elizabeth Kleemeier of the World Bank who will present “World Bank and Rural Water Supply in Africa: What We’ve Learned, Where We’re Going”, Malawi District Government Experience of Coordination, stories from Handpump Mechanics, Women Masons in Uganda and much more”

Mon 28.11.11 Tue 29.11.11 Wed 30.11.11 Thu 01.12.11 Fri 02.12.11
Forum – am Opening Plenary Session Plenary Session

Parallel Thematic Sessions

Plenary Session

Parallel Thematic Sessions

Forum – pm . Parallel Thematic Sessions
Parallel Thematic Sessions Exhibition &
Poster walk around
Closing Plenary Session
Exhibition Set-up Formal Opening Open Open Take down
Other Arrival &
Arrival &
Evening cocktail reception Field trips and sponsored seminars

Friday Seminars

Although the main Forum ends on Thursday 1 December, don’t be in a rush to go home because we have a number of exciting field trips and sponsored seminars on the Friday:

Seminar on the Life-Cycle Costs Approach (English only) 09.00 – 17.00
Convenor: IRC – WASHcost

This seminar will focus on the use of the life-cycle costs approach for water and sanitation in rural and peri-urban areas building on experiences in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Andhra Pradesh (India) and Mozambique. What are the minimum data needs and how are they determined? Which data collection tools can be used? How can costs and service levels be analysed to draw conclusions? There are a limited number of places for this.

Delegates can register for the training through by sending an email to Audrey van Soest:

Sector Performance Monitoring (French/ English)
Convenor: WaterAid

There are various approaches for monitoring rural water supply coverage, access, equity, water point functionality and water quality. Water Point Mapping and Household Surveys are two such approaches that can be used to plan investments in rural water supply and assess progress towards achievement of the MDGs. This seminar will focus on sharing of methodologies used in data collection and processing as well as harmonising different approaches.

If you want to register for this seminar, contact Vincent Casey ( at WaterAid.

Photovoltaic Pumping Systems in Rural Water Supply (French/ English) 09:00-12:00
Convenor: International Energy Agency – Photovoltaic Services for Developing Countries

This seminar aims to provide an understanding about under which circumstances photovoltaic (PV) pumping can be an appropriate solution for rural water supply. Participants will learn about emerging opportunities for photovoltaic operated water supply systems due to price decreases of PV modules and recent technological innovations. The case studies presented by PV practitioners will not only cover success stories but also provide insight into the practical issues and obstacles encountered with PV pumping and provide recommendations on how these problems can be addressed and overcome. The seminar will highlight the crucial factors and institutional frameworks which are required for a successful and sustainable operation of PV water supply systems.

To register for this seminar, contact Thomas Meier (

COMPETITION: Win a trip to Uganda for the RWSN Forum in November and a cash prize

Cost Effective Boreholes – What has your country done to make its borehole drilling more cost-effective?

We have launched competition to see which countries have made significant progress to improve the health of the drilling sector over the last five years. The best two entries will receive a trip to Uganda to attend the 6th International RWSN Forum in November 2011 and present their progress plus a cash prize. The deadline for the competition is the 14th October 2011.

How can I enter the competition?

In order to enter the competition, please write and tell us what your country has done to improve borehole drilling practices with respect to the one or more of the nine principles in the Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes, which can be downloaded from

Your article can be 2,000 to 6,000 words in length (4 to 12 pages). Send it to: Kerstin Danert, RWSN Secretariat, Skat Foundation, Vadianstrasse 42, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland. Email: or Please contact us if you need more information.

World Water Forum, Marseille

So when the RWSN Forum is over is that it? Do we put our feet up and relax? Definitely not.

RWSN has been asked to take a lead on the rural water supply at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille next year. We’re looking for the best solutions to promote at the highest policy levels.

Priority 1 is “Guarantee access to water for all and the Right to water” and within this, Target 2 is: “By 20xx, ensure that the global rural population without access to safe water decreases by x%, with special attention to the poor” So it our job, as a network, to fill in the blanks. (

The change in emphasis in this process is that instead of just highlighting problems (which let’s face it we know about all too well) we have an opportunity to promote solutions. In particular it is an opportunity to take approaches and technologies that are proven and scale them up so that water supply coverage increases and the sustainability of rural water sources improves.

The RWSN Forum in Kampala has become the opportunity for RWSN members to discuss and agree on solutions, actions and commitments to take forward to Marseille. There is a website set up to collate ideas and solutions ( and you can find the page for Target 1.1.2 here:

The website allows you to create a user account and then you can submit your own solutions. So for, example, if you think the rope pump is an important solution then you can enter it on the website with links to case studies and projects that you know about.

New Strategy, New Themes and New Faces at RWSN

We are please to announce the final draft RWSN Strategy for 2012 to 2014. This is major step forward for the network as new partners get involved and we step up member networking. It has been jointly developed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Skat Foundation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, WaterAid, the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) of the World Bank and UNICEF.

Themes core themes have changed as shown below:

Theme Objective
Accelerating self supply Self Supply becomes a mainstream and accepted service delivery model within the Government, donor and implementing agency community as well as among water users in rural areas.
Sustainable groundwater development for Rural Water Supplies Groundwater resources are properly considered and sustainably used for developing drinking water supply sources.
Management and support of rural water supply systems Appropriate models for management and support of rural water supply services are piloted and taken to scale.
Equity and inclusion in Rural Water Supplies Targeting of service provision at all scales is inclusive of the needs and rights of all, including those who are frequently excluded from access to services.

Download the strategy from: Please send us your comments and ideas for collaboration.

There are also changes to the leadership and coordination of the themes. Many of you know, or have heard of Sally Sutton, who has been coordinating the Self Supply theme since 2003. Sally has been the driving force behind this theme, and has been instrumental in showing that Self Supply is a valid service delivery approach for rural water supplies. Thank you Sally! As Sally moves into semi-retirement in 2012, the co-ordination within RWSN is passing to André Olschewski, at Skat. We are now in a handover period as the new RWSN strategy period gets underway. André is excited about developing new Self Supply projects that will build on the successes that have been achieved so far.

The launch of the new theme, under RWSN in 2012, Equity and Inclusion, sees Louisa Gosling of WaterAid take on the role of coordinating this theme. WaterAid has taken a leading role in raising awareness with respect to equity and inclusion at community level and more recently at national level. This provides the basis for wider collaboration through RWSN.

Welcome to Elizabeth Kleemeier and the World Bank

We are pleased to announce that the World Bank has joined the RWSN Executive Steering Committee. Their representative on the committee will be Elizabeth Kleemeier. Her work has included research into various aspects of rural water supply in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi. Elizabeth joined the World Bank is now a Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist with responsibilities for knowledge management and learning, particularly related to rural water supply. We’re very happy to have her on board as we enter an exciting new period of RWSN activity.

New RWSN website – what would you like to see?

We are in the process of hiring a web-design team to produce a new RWSN website. One of the main aims is to make it easier to find what you want from the over 200 publications currently on the website, plus some important ones that aren’t.

What would make the RWSN website more useful to you? Send your thoughts and ideas to: Sean Furey (

New Research, Publications and Websites


If you look at the cover of the new RWSN Strategy and wonder what the strange, contorted map is, then wonder no longer. Worldmapper ( is led by the University of Sheffield, in the UK, and is a collection of world maps that uses equal area cartograms to change the relative size of countries according to a particular variable. They prepared a map using the JMP data for the number of people reported in rural areas without access to improved water supplies. What it illustrates is the huge problems that remain in much of Africa, South and East Asia. The colours make it easier to identify the countries from the reference map.

Number of People in Rural Areas that use an unimproved drinking water supply

Each territory is resized according to the total number of rural populations using an unimproved drinking water supply. Map prepared by Sasi Research Group (University of Sheffield) based on WHO/UNICEF 2008 Joint Monitoring Programme Data. See Reference Map

Rural Water Supply Data

Most people will be familiar with the headline figures for water supply and sanitation from the WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP). What you may not be aware of are the useful tools on the JMP website ( For example, you can create maps, graphs and tables for water supply coverage in rural and/or urban areas for particular regions or for an individual country. See example: Rural water supply coverage in Oceania

Uganda Water Supply Atlas

Thanks to a tremendous effort from the Ministry of Water and Environment and District Local Governments, Uganda has just published a new Water supply Atlas. It provides information of water supply coverage, functionality and distribution. The Water Supply Atlas files are presented as a national report and one report per district.

We recommend that you take a look at this impressive document, which is state of the art worldwide. Visit to download the atlas as well as data

Triple-S: Ghana Overview Report

A new report has been produced by the IRC Triple-S project that gives a detailed overview of the rural water supply situation in Ghana:

One of the principle conclusions is: “One of the biggest challenges facing the rural water sector in Ghana is that it is currently dominated by the ‘donor agenda’, rather than being led by the priorities of the Government of Ghana. Government needs to take on and develop its leadership role being the only actor with the legitimacy to lead the sector, including the development of a clear framework for sustainable service delivery. Ensuring an effective leadership role also means ensuring sufficient domestic investment in the sector, so that the sector is not almost totally dependent upon donors.”

Household Water Treatment Network

WHO have produced an information sheet “WHO recommendations on evaluation of household water treatment options” which summarises the key points from their 2011 report on the topic which can be found here:

RWSN Member News

Stockholm World Water Week

The RWSN Secretariat attended this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm (21 – 27 August). You can view some of the sessions online, such as the seminar on “Accelerating WASH in Fragile and Post-Conflict States” featuring Sanjay Wijesekera of DFID (moving soon to UNICEF), Henry Northover of WaterAid and Sanitation & Water For All, Dominick de Waal of WSP and some impromptu facilitation by former RWSN Chairman, Piers Cross.

The Week ended with the endorse of a Stockholm Statement which calls on leadership at all levels of government that will participate at the Rio+20 Summit (4-6 June 2012) to commit to achieving “universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030” and to adopt intervening targets to increase efficiency in the management of water, energy and food.

The targets include to be achieved by the year 2020:

  • 20% increase in total food supply-chain efficiency
  • 20% increase in water efficiency in agriculture
  • 20% increase in water use efficiency in energy production
  • 20% increase in the quantity of water reused
  • 20% decrease in water pollution

If you were there and then would like to here your views on the event, and whether RWSN should be more involved in future years. Next year the theme will be water and food security, but the Stockholm has yet to focus on rural water. Email your thoughts to

The WASH Sustainability Charter

The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Education (WASH) Sustainability Charter is a collaboratively-developed mission and set of guiding principles to advance sustainable solutions in water, sanitation, and hygiene education. It was launched on 27 July 2011 was initiated at the January 2011 WASH Sustainability Forum hosted by Global Water Challenge (GWC), IRC Water and Sanitation Research Centre (IRC), Aguaconsult, Water For People, and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). For more information visit:


2011 Water and Health: Where Science Meets Policy Conference

3–7 October, 2011. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. The 2010 conference brought together over 350 people from over 40 countries to address critical concerns facing drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and water resources. This year’s Water and Health Conference will feature themes ranging from Freshwater Availability and Climate Change Adaptation to Human Right and Ethics. Other themes for 2011 include Perspectives on WaSH for Small Communities and Peri-urban Areas, and South-eastern US Water Challenges. For a complete list of conference themes and abstract submission details, visit

International Capacity Building Symposium: Strategic Planning in the Water Sector

28th November – 1st December 2011. London. This four-day course has been specially designed by our expert staff to provide an in-depth examination of the key planning, organisational and supply requirements necessary for producing and implementing effective strategies. Throughout the course participants will develop essential skills for understanding regulation, governance and sustainability of the water sector. For further information, visit:,HYR4,3OIVTS,1GO3O,1

Membership and Subscription

Where in the world are you? Over a third of registered RWSN members haven’t told us which country they are from. If you are one of those, or if you have moved, then go to the RWSN website, log on and update your details. We would love to know where you are so that we can help members network with other practitioners in their country or region.

RWSN membership is open to individuals and organisations that support rural people throughout the world to access improved water supplies. RWSN currently has over 2,500 members, including professionals in numerous Governments, NGOs and the private sector. RWSN members contribute to the network by sharing information, contributing their time and undertaking specific activities.

You can join RWSN on the website (see new user on the bottom left of Once you have signed up, you can send instant messages to other RWSN members and also download their contact details. If you have not already joined through the website, we encourage you to do so to enable us to update the RWSN member information. If you have any problems, please contact us on, or If you would prefer to receive the newsletter in English/French, please just let us know on


If you do not wish to continue to receive this newsletter, please let us know by sending an email to with the heading unsubscribe.







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