Sustainable Development Goal #6 (SDG6) sets ambitious targets for ensuring availability and sustainable management of water for all, which can only be achieved if the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector expands its approach from one focused at reaching universal coverage to one that ensures sustainability. Water For People includes in our programmatic approach a comprehensive view of sustainability. This paper presents a suite of tools that we use to plan and monitor the various elements of sustainability of service delivery.
The tools support a holistic, clear understanding of functionality and service levels, financial viability, and water resources management.
AtWhatCost: A life cycle costing tool mapping revenue and expenses of a water system to understand better the levels of financial sustainability for service providers.
Asset Assessment Tool: A spreadsheet that paints a district-wide picture of all water infrastructure and considers its age, functionality, and physical condition to illustrate risks and priorities for future investment needs and planning by the service authority. The annual service delivery monitoring activity allows service authorities and service providers to measure progress and trends in water service delivery. It is a critical tool in measuring levels of service and as a basic measurement of sustainability.
Sustainable Services Checklist: An Excel-based score card reflecting the institutional strength of WASH service delivery stakeholders. Through data analysis and direct interviews of the stakeholders, the Sustainable Services Checklist is an indicator used to reflect progress to the delivery of sustainable services, and ultimately when external intervention can exit.
The Water Resources Inventory tool is designed to establish a foundation for developing district water resource management plans. In Honduras, this tool has led to the purchase and protection of high priority drinking water catchments.
Each of these tools can stand alone to address an individual element of sustainability of service delivery. As a suite of tools taken together, they support a holistic approach to implementing system change in rural water service delivery.