Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Overview on Management Patterns in Community, Private and Hybrid Management in Rural Water Supply

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Overview on Management Patterns in Community, Private and Hybrid Management in Rural Water Supply

Article excerpt


Rural water supply sector is urging for sustainability for long time. Till now sustainability is a dream. Enormous efforts for obtaining sustainability become fading due to improper selection of management model for delivery of water in rural areas. Demand driven approach, community participation, community management of services are well known and widely applied in the sector. Community management has proved itself as a good tool for short term and simple point water source management in rural areas. With the advent of technology and due to desire of rural community for more improved services, water supply sector seeks for new models like private or other form of hybrid management. This article attempts to review the merits and demerits of both community management models and private management models in line with sustainability concept. This paper further conceptually provides ground of selection of appropriate management model for sustainability based on the reviewed literatures.

Keywords: community management, private management, sustainability, rural water supply

1. Introduction

Water is essential for human life. It plays a vital role not only for the survival of human life, but also for all forms of life. So, every person posses a subconscious concern to maintain, preserve and defend the access to the water which they need for their own survival (Jack, 2009). To supply water for urban and rural community, there are different forms of organization in different countries. Water supply management is pivotal to ensure sufficient amount of good quality water for the community. As a result, water management has emerged as an essential part of the organizational structure of community life. This management starts from the simplest family groups and has gradually become complex and more important in response to the situation caused by water scarcity or increasing population density (Jack, 2009). Roark, Hodgkin and Wyatt (1993), defined management for water supply as the marshalling of resources to plan, direct, monitor and evaluate the operation and maintenance (O&M) of water supply and sanitation (WSS) systems. To manage the services various management models are also working in practice. These are namely, self management, community management, private and public management. The management type also varies with technical options used and geographical location. Among these models, community water supplies are managed mainly by community itself, private operator or state owned utility. Till date utility services, like, water supply are provided by state owned monopolies all over the world (Wallsten & Clarke, 2002). In public sector management, water supply is managed through municipal utilities or local government providers (Lockwood & Smits, 2011). Until 1980, most of rural water supply were delivered and managed by Government institutions through supply driven approach (Harvey & Reed, 2007). In most of the cases, the efficiency of such management systems was found poor due to inadequacy of government capacity and commitment leading to the level of sustainability at very low ebb. High costs, insufficient supplies and chronic deficits are some of the noticeable weak points of purely public managed water supply (Lewis & Miller, 1987).

The prime focus of this article is to review major highlights of the merits and demerits of community based management models and private management models based on the available literature. The findings of the study may be instrumental for planners and policy makers to identify appropriate service delivery model for rural water supply system for developing countries.

2. Rural Water Situation in Developing Countries

Lack of water supply and sanitation services are alarming globally. More than 884 million people do not have improved drinking water supply; almost all of them are from developing regions and 84% of them live in rural areas (WHO, 2010). …

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