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Piped water transition in western Uganda

Photo Credit: Flickr/Shenghung Lin

SDG target 6.1 commits the sector to a new standard of “safely managed” services, including access to an improved water source on premises. However, this new target is not supported by a body of evidence consistently indicating that piped water services on premises generate substantially greater benefits than improved off-plot water sources. The Davis lab is partnering with Water For People, an international water and sanitation NGO, that is building systems with on-plot connections in the Kamwenge district, Western Uganda, as well as with Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Over the next three years we will evaluate the effect of transitioning from unimproved and improved off-plot water sources to on-plot water connections on the time and money costs of water supply, along with a range of economic and health outcomes. The study uses a quasi-experimental prospective cohort design, matching households who obtain piped water with comparison households using shared water points. The results of this study will be used in cost-benefit analyses to support decision making, identify conditions under which the benefits of on-plot water service are maximized and to help develop business models of sustainable water service delivery.