Assessing rural small community water supply in Limpopo, South Africa: water service benchmarks and reliability

Majuru, Batsirai, Jagals, Paul and Hunter, Paul R. (2012) Assessing rural small community water supply in Limpopo, South Africa: water service benchmarks and reliability. Science of the Total Environment, 435 479-486. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.07.024


Author Majuru, Batsirai
Jagals, Paul
Hunter, Paul R.
Title Assessing rural small community water supply in Limpopo, South Africa: water service benchmarks and reliability
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-9697
1879-1026
Publication date 2012-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.07.024
Volume 435
Start page 479
End page 486
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Although a number of studies have reported on water supply improvements, few have simultaneously taken into account the reliability of the water services. The study aimed to assess whether upgrading water supply systems in small rural communities improved access, availability and potability of water by assessing the water services against selected benchmarks from the World Health Organisation and South African Department of Water Affairs, and to determine the impact of unreliability on the services. These benchmarks were applied in three rural communities in Limpopo, South Africa where rudimentary water supply services were being upgraded to basic services. Data were collected through structured interviews, observations and measurement, and multi-level linear regression models were used to assess the impact of water service upgrades on key outcome measures of distance to source, daily per capita water quantity and Escherichia coli count. When the basic system was operational, 72% of households met the minimum benchmarks for distance and water quantity, but only 8% met both enhanced benchmarks. During non-operational periods of the basic service, daily per capita water consumption decreased by 5.19 l (p < 0.001, 95% CI 4.06–6.31) and distances to water sources were 639 m further (p ≤ 0.001, 95% CI 560–718). Although both rudimentary and basic systems delivered water that met potability criteria at the sources, the quality of stored water sampled in the home was still unacceptable throughout the various service levels. These results show that basic water services can make substantial improvements to water access, availability, potability, but only if such services are reliable.
Keyword Water supply
Access
Quality
Reliability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 09 Dec 2012, 00:39:21 EST by System User on behalf of School of Public Health