There are many different sources of water that can be improved and managed. Safe and accessible water supplies make a huge difference to people’s health and their quality of life. Building rainwater tanks, capping springs and digging wells can all be done by local people. Drilling rigs and piped water will require outside experts and funding.
An elected Water Management Committee could help to make sure that water supplies are well managed and benefit all local people. Water committees should include representatives of community leaders, women, different ethnic or caste groups, and people with technical skills. They can agree reasonable charges, if necessary, in order to pay someone to manage the water supply and maintain water pumps.
Committees should make sure the area around water points is protected from animals and safe for women and children. Planting trees will help prevent soil erosion and keep the area attractive. Drainage channels filled with stones (soakaways) will allow waste water to drain away, rather than allowing pools to collect where mosquitoes and other pests can breed. Drinking areas for animals should be made some distance away. Areas for washing clothes and for personal hygiene should be kept separate from the water supply.