water supply in small communities - lenntech
To control these diseases a sufficient amount of safe drinking water is important. This implies not only improve the design and planning of water supplies, but also sanitation and hygiene behaviour. This can be obtained raising the demand and introducing sanitation programs. Improvements in water services can be made by outsiders (politicians, planners, engineers) but they have to operate in partnership with the community.
Better water distribution allows avoiding the presence of stagnant water or wastewater, where insects carrying the above mentioned diseased can be present. Better water distribution can also bring no need for women or children for carrying water. This allows more free time to dedicate to better activities, as childcare, animal rising or vegetable gardening
In developing countries communities that want to establish and run an improved water supply vary greatly. It is important not to overlook the different nature and history of small communities. There is no standard solution, but different solutions for different communities. Planning and making decisions on the pros and cons, the implications of each option and choosing the best option considering the kind of community is crucial for the success of the project
During the last two decades it has been recognized that water supply improvements alone do not bring optimum health and development impact in developing countries. Other complementary activities needed are better sanitation provisions, changes in hygiene provisions and linkages with other livelihood inputs
Community participation in water projects is certainly very important. There is need of inclusive approach avoiding marginalization of the poor. This can be gained through programs, that are series of integrated activities directed to the establishment and continue functioning and use of water supply services. The challenge of a program is social, organizational and administrative. It is important that agencies and partners work together with communities group and users and plan their activities on a mutual agreement.
To meet long-term health benefits of environmental engineering it is important to enhance the demand for better water use, sanitation and hygiene. The new systems have to be and remain better than the alternatives in terms of economic and social costs and benefits. Program teams have to seek the values of local experiences and viewpoints to understand what local people really want and can use and sustain.
The community water supply designs should be holistic, so to meet all the basics needs of people, expandable, in view of community growth with access to the community improved water supply, and upgradeable, in view of a socio-economic growth and a need of later upgrading. Standardization, even if often more cost-effective, is not always a good choice because it can imply competition between different brands, poor incentive for the involvement in the private sector and the technology may not respond to the needs and preference of the users
Small communities often find it difficult to obtain the capital to construct improved water supplies. Usually the central or provincial government organize and finance multi-communities programs and the fund may be partly revolving, using repayments or earlier loans. The communities candidates for a loan or a grant, or a combination of both, are asked to submit a pre-proposal to the program. Communities are not homogeneous entities, they often consist in the middle classes and the poor, marginalized groups. To help and support all the groups it is important to identify all of them at the very start of the project and to ensure their equal participation. All the groups should participate to the formulation of the preliminary plans to the program level. Projects must be based on the existing water supply already available for the community
When each community has developed its own detailed plan, through the decision making process at a program level it is decided which plans are financed though a loan, a grant or a combination of the two. The project funds are then transmitted in instalments to the special project bank account that each community has established
The staff in charge of management and maintenance of the water supply varies depending on the size of the project. For small water supply systems, selected technicians and the management committee are trained during and after the construction. For larger and multi-village systems with a community base management staff are generally professionally trained and hired by the community water board
All team members must be conscious of gender and poverty conditions, and they should be able to overcome or reduce inequalities between women and men and rich and poor. The team needs to be able to combine specific knowledge, expertise and skills of local people with those of the team itself. Technical options will have socio, cultural and organizational implications that the technical staff must take into account. On the other end social staff needs to have a basic understanding of the technical implications of community choices.
At the support level, technical-social teams from the private sector can be chosen by a program to support work with communities. For technical work the community may decide to use their own procurements, use their own artisans and/or hire contractors, who will be guided by the support program. At the higher level, managers and other superiors should support and reward the ability of the personnel to integrate local people, the quality of process work and the nature of long-term results.
Ten countries are usually referred to as Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Check Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Their geographical location, their political history after the WWII and their current socio-economical changes in the same direction link them to each other.
The fraction of rural population is similar in 8 out of the 10 countries (30-38%). It is higher in Romania (40%) and Slovenia (50%). Check Republic, Poland and Slovakia are the countries with the lowest water availability per inhabitant (less than 1600 m3 per capita per year). The water usage per inhabitant varies greatly: between about 93 m3 per capita per year in Latvia and 1554 in Bulgaria
With respect to the availability of water and wastewater services some statistics have shown that in rural areas populations of small municipalities are a in worst situation than town population as far as access to water supply and sewage disposal services is concerned.
After the WWII until 1990 these services were provided by the state and managed centrally. After 1990 water supplies and sewage disposal systems became the property of municipalities and communities, which operated trough different institutional forms. Nowadays the situation is still the same: the communities do not want to sell these assets and participation to the private sector in that field is very limited
The aim of the CEETAC (Central and Eastern Europe Technical Advisory Committee) is to create in two to three decades sufficient, safe, clean and healthy water and people living in stable societies in the CEE region. This requires complex activities of water resource management. It is important to develop the water supply networks, especially in small municipalities and rural areas, and at the same time to improve the quality of the supplied water. This has to be accompanied by an adequate development of sewage disposal and water treatment systems. The main task is to ensure that in future the water tariffs make it possible to recover the costs of water services.
For CEE countries, the approaches and technologies are traditionally similar to the solutions used in Western Europe and drinking water regulations are based on WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines. As all the countries intend to join the EU, new regulations on drinking water are being implemented in line with the EU Directive on drinking water
The amount of water a person needs each day depends on many factors. Climate, standard of living, hygiene awareness, and workload influence the human water consumption, that for normal functioning varies from 3 to 10 litres of water per day. Part of this water may be derived from food. A factor influencing water consumption is also its availability and distribution methods
The data for obtaining a first estimate of the water demand of a community is the number of households from and aerial survey, average size family, and studies on water supply systems for existing water communities. An alternative approach is to draw a social map of the community interviewing men and women in the community and taking into account the presence in that area of schools, hospitals etc. Another important factor that has to be taken into consideration is whether the water is or is not used for irrigation, even if in general priority is given to domestic water supply
It is often very difficult to estimate the future water demand of a community accurately. The water usage figures should also include about 20% allowable for further losses and wastage. Individual house connections provide a higher level of service than a tap places in the house yard. In the selection of the type of the type of service, finance is usually an important facto together with the location and size of the community.
As a rough estimation, the water supply for a centralised community settlement would need to have a capacity of 0.3 LT/sec per 1000 people when the water is mainly distributed by means of public standpipes and about 1.5 LT/sec per 1000 people or more when yard and house connections predominate
The basic requirements for drinking water are that it should be clear (low turbidity), not salty, free from offensive taste or smell, free from chemicals that may cause corrosion or encrustation, free of heavy metals, with not excessive sodium, sulphate and nitrate but above all free from pathogenic organisms as bacteria and viruses which may cause disease. The WHO has published guidelines to help counties to set qualities standards with which domestic water supplies should comply. These standards are often considered as long-term goals rather than rigid standards.
Colour is often due to natural organics or dissolved inorganic compound such as iron and manganese. Organic colour when disinfected with chlorine will produce harmful chlorinated organics, iron or manganese in high quantities in drinking water, making it not healthy to drink. Low pH can increase corrosion of pipe works, while a too high pH can lead to calcium carbonate deposition and encrustations
Some chemicals as ammonia, calcium, chloride, fluoride, magnesium, nitrates, sodium, potassium, sulphate and zinc can be present in large quantities. Excessive levels have a harmful effect on health, but in many cases limited quantities are necessary for the maintenance of living organisms and low concentrations are therefore desirable in water supplies
IWRM deals with the management of sustainable water resource taking into account the inexorable increase in global population and the use of the water for economic purpose. Water use should be seen as a pyramid, with domestic use representing the smallest, but most important amount at the pyramid’s apex. IWRM was developed as a philosophical structure to bring together the different sectors. It is important because helps to avoid competition between users in those countries where the water resources are scarce.
Water is a flux, not a given resource located at some fixed place in space and time. It is a finite but renewable resource and the rate at which water is used in particular place in comparison with the rate at which is replenished that determines whether there is a scarcity (drought) or a surplus. If water is used in one location, this can affect its abundance and the ability of people to use it in another location. Large-scale examples of water resources misuse has increased the political and scientific attention on improved IWMR as a means of conflict resolution