Why water systems fail part 15: inappropriate technology

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 inappropriate technology choices as a cause of water point failure. This is due in part to a lack of technology standards in some developing countries, or by implementing organizations not following the standards. Technology might be too difficult to repair (perhaps because of the lack of tools or spare parts), not durable enough for the environment, or of poor quality.

Despite agreement among [30 water and sanitation development professionals] that the issues are social and institutional rather than technical, poor technology choice…

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