Why water systems fail part 13: users don’t want to pay

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

What leads to success or failure of water systems?  Everything we read points to a complex mix of factors.  In this series, we share quotes on various topics related to failure of water systems from our literature search and interviews for the report on resolution of problems with water systems as a way to highlight pieces of the puzzle.

This blog focuses on the unwillingness of some water users to pay for services, a major contributor to problems with cost recovery.  The reasons behind this vary, and include users not liking the taste of the water, not trusting the people collecting the fees, or not wanting to pay for something that was free before. Even if life-cycle costs are well defined, it is still important to understand what users are willing to pay for.

In Liberia it rains almost constantly for about six months…

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