Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

Safe Water Promotion

748 Million people do not yet have access to an improved water source, about 1.8 Billion people use a source of water that is unsafe and large disparities in access to water exist between rural and urban areas and different regions. Sandec’s research on safe water promotion is analyzing the water challenges to develop and evaluate appropriate solutions to strengthening access to and enhance the consumption of safe drinking water in vulnerable households in low income countries.

Research Projects

Evaluation of larger size gravity driven membrane systems for institutions (schools, community kiosks), Uganda

GDM filtration is a safe water product innovation that has been tested at household level in Bolivia and Kenya. Due to its ease of operation, the technology had high levels of acceptance in both countries. High production cost for household units however currently limit their affordability for low income households. Water treatment through larger community scale systems is a different approach of using this technology, that probably can be operated at much lower cost. As community scale GDM Filters have not yet been tested in low income countries, the objective of this project therefore is to A) evaluate the technical feasibility as well as operation and maintenance requirements of the technology in larger community scale systems and B) to operate a water kiosk providing safe water to the local community and assess if sufficient demand for safe water can be generated and if a viable business can be operated through the water kiosk.

Evaluating the outcome of different business models for Water Kiosks

Previous evaluations of water kiosk identified different elements of a business model to have an influenced their sustainable operation such as management structure, pricing, type of ownership, demand for safe water within community, etc. Up to present however, no systematic evaluation has been conducted with a focus on comparing the business models of different kiosks and correlating success with different business model elements. In this study we evaluate the outcome of the installation & operation of different water enterprises. In addition, a detailed survey will be conducted to gain insight into community outreach.

Evaluation of ceramic filter production and marketing efforts in Nepal

Various household water treatment product acceptance and use trials have been carried out in the recent years and revealed that people have a high preference for filters due to their ease of operation. Different organizations therefore have supported efforts to train local entrepreneurs in the production and marketing of ceramic filters in Nepal. The objective of this project is to collect qualitative information on the different cases of ceramic filter entrepreneurs in Nepal and identify factors that support the successful operation of their businesses.

Assess safe water promotion & implementation strategies in Midwestern Areas in Nepal

Critical hygiene and water handling practices as well as technical challenges in water supply schemes lead to the deterioration of the water quality at the point of consumption. This project in the Midwestern areas of Nepal therefore was conceived to get a better understanding of where and why water contamination takes place, to quantify the degree of recontamination, understand the behavioral determinants of people living in the project area regarding safe water and hygiene practices and review the potential market conditions for the marketing of household water treatment and safe water storage products. Project intervention strategies are conceived on the basis of insight gained during assessment and their impact is evaluated.

Assessing the impact of water quality tests at community or household level on safe water handling practices

Achieving consistent consumption of safe drinking water in low-income communities has been challenging. The demonstration of water quality tests could be an effective tool to target the behavioral factor “perceived vulnerability” and support the behavior change process. The objective of this project is to assess the impact of water quality tests conducted at household level vs. tests conducted at community level on change safe water consumption behavior.

Solar Water Disinfection

SODIS (short for Solar Water Disinfection) started as an initiative of Eawag. We supported the improvement and spread of the SODIS method through research in microbiology, health, educational strategies and PET bottles. More information (SODIS Website)