New Land and Water Discussion Paper on multiple-use water services out now

Water is an indispensable resource that lies at the heart of sustenance and prosperity for communities worldwide. In lower and middle-income countries, households and communities have long relied on a single water source to fulfill a multitude of needs, encompassing drinking, washing, cooking, livestock raising, and irrigation. Traditional water supply systems have served as hydraulic structures for multiple purposes, catering to diverse water requirements.

As countries progressed towards modernization, the emphasis shifted towards single-use water infrastructure, inadvertently neglecting the multifaceted nature of water demands that contribute to people’s livelihoods. In developing countries, water resources management centered around large-scale irrigation and water development projects to spur economic growth. Infrastructure, institutions, policies, and practices were organized around single-use sectors. Consequently, prevailing models of water modernization unintentionally disregarded or even discouraged the acknowledgement of multiple uses. Read more