Meters for Management

Can water meters make a difference?

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director, Improve International

The 2012 Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS report) indicates that official development assistance for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions was $7.8 billion in 2011. However, only 7% of the overall investment was allocated to maintaining and sustaining existing infrastructure. This lack of foresight plagues the sector, with persistently high water system failure rates often attributed to a lack of skills and finances for infrastructure management.

Many water managers and global research projects like WASHCost are recognizing that the common method of charging each household a flat fee for water is not putting enough money in water committee accounts to pay for ongoing maintenance and repair. Plus, populations are growing and water scarcity is a concern in many areas.

There’s a simple tool that is helping to improve management for many systems: the water meter. Just like here in…

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