Hi! A chemical engineer by education; I have been a water and wastewater treatment professional for last 24 years. Having started career at Ion Exchange (I) ltd; Mumbai in 1996, I moved to Singapore and worked with Hyflux and Chartered Semiconductor Mfg Ltd for around 5 years before moving back to India and starting on my own as “Nixie Engineers Pvt Ltd”.
Accessibility. Availability. Quality. These are the three criteria that define a safely managed
drinking water service under SDG 6.1. While accessibility and
availability were known challenges for rural water supply services, the scale
of the problem of rural water quality was not well quantified, until last
UNICEF JMP Update Report 2017 put the water quality issue firmly on
the map for rural water supply. While 73% of the world’s population drinks
water free from contamination bacteriological and chemical contamination, only
55% of the world’s rural population – just over half – drinks safe water.
Furthermore, estimates for water quality are only available for 45% of the global
population. The JMP report notes that these data suggest that levels of
compliance with drinking water standards are likely to be low in developing
many aspects of rural drinking water services, but there had not been a specific
focus on water quality thus far. Given the importance of this issue for
rural people, RWSN is proud to announce a new partnership with The Water
Institute at UNC Chapel Hill to tackle the quality of water in rural
water services. According to Professor Jamie Bartram (Director, The Water
Institute at UNC), “this partnership will leverage the powerful RWSN
platform and The Water Institute’s expertise in water quality and management to
bring up to date evidence and methods to the members of the network. As a
new Topic Leader in Mapping and Monitoring, The Water Institute aims to bring
evidence and practice closer by facilitating lively discussion and producing
practical guidance on Safely Managed Water.” You can find out more
about this new partnership in the section below.
and availability of drinking water also remain critical issues for rural
populations. Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8
out of 10 households with water off premises, and 263 million people use water
supplies more than 30 minutes from home. Likewise, many rural water
systems face operation and maintenance challenges that can leave rural
populations with long downtimes when spare parts or skilled technicians are not
available to make the repair.
RWSN’s Themes and online communities remain active on addressing Accessibility and Availability as part of
the new strategy 2018-2023. The Sustainable Services Theme
explores service delivery models to ensure continuity and quality of services.
The Sustainable Groundwater Development Theme is concerned with the
overall availability of the water resource itself, while the recently-launched
topic on “Solar Pumping” allows exchange on advances in solar pumping
technologies and field experiences of their use and management. The Mapping and Monitoring Theme is
looking at how to reinforce in-country monitoring systems of water services.
The Self-Supply Theme helps define the enabling environment that enables
people to invest in and improve their own water systems. And cutting across all
topics, the Leave No One Behind Theme emphasizes the need to have an
inclusive approach to rural water, taking gender, disability, and marginalised
populations into account to fulfil the human right to water.
World Water Day theme will be “Leaving No One Behind.” Now more
than ever, Rural Water practitioners will be on the forefront to take up this
challenge and address these persistent inequalities so that rural populations
everywhere can drink water that is safe, available when needed, and accessible
close to home.
Residents of Toboi in Lolwa parish Orom Sub County in Kitgum district have resorted to sharing contaminated rain runoff water that collects on rock inselbergs with animals due to scarce water points in the vicinity.
The resident explain that they survive on dirty unprotected water from Lela Toboi inselberg because of the far distance of over three to seven kilometers that one has to trek in search of clean drinking water in the neighboring villages of Wipolo and Tikau and Karekalet river spring.
The situation has rendered residents particularly the most vulnerable elderly, disability and children to opt for nothing other than runoff water from contaminated sources which makes them exposed to water borne diseases and death.
“If it rains we utilize rain runoff water that gathers on these inselberg and if it dries off we trek to Wipolo aor Tikau where we are…
I suspect that some of you, readers of this blog, are equal water nerds as I am, and that you also take your professional interest along on holiday. At least, I cannot resist visiting the odd water works or taking photographs of the local water and sanitation facilities during my holidays. This summer holiday I not only had the opportunity to take photos, but to live for a week the type of rural water situation, that I write about so much, but rarely experience in reality. As I spent my vacation on a family visit to my brother, who is managing a farm in the Moldovan rural village of Cuhureştii de Jos, I got some first-hand experience of the common problems around rural water supply and realized that some of the myths around it, are myths indeed.