by Fadel Ndaw, World Bank Global Water Practice – reblogged from http://blogs.worldbank.org/water/3-ways-countries-can-improve-water-supplies-small-towns
A public faucet that serves 1,000 families in el Alto, Bolivia. Photo credit: Stephan Bachenheimer / World Bank
Small towns* typically have not been well served by national or regional water utilities. Decentralization has become increasingly widely adopted, but even if local governments at the small town level have the power to operate a water utility, they often lack the capital and skills to do so. In response, some local governments and public institutions concentrate improvements on upgrading public utilities’ operations or strengthening community based management. In other cases, they choose to bring in the private sector knowledge of how to get clean water and sanitation services to more people more efficiently, affordably or sustainably.