1st Edition

Community Management of Rural Water Supply Case Studies of Success from India

    238 Pages 95 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 95 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The supply of reliable and safe water is a key challenge for developing countries, particularly India. Community management has long been the declared model for rural water supply and is recognised to be critical for its implementation and success. Based on 20 detailed successful case studies from across India, this book outlines future rural water supply approaches for all lower-income countries as they start to follow India on the economic growth (and subsequent service levels) transition. 

    The case studies cover state-level wealth varying from US$2,600 to US$10,000 GDP per person and a mix of gravity flow, single village and multi-village groundwater and surface water schemes. The research reported covers 17 states and surveys of 2,400 households. Together, they provide a spread of cases directly relevant to policy-makers in lower-income economies planning to upgrade the quality and sustainability of rural water supply to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the context of economic growth.

    Part 1: Community Management: Background, Review and Challenges 

    1. Research Purpose and Background 

    2. Community Management and Community Management Plus: The Background 

    3. A Systematic Review of Success Factors in the Community Management of Rural Water Supplies over the Past Thirty Years 

    4. Revisiting the History, Concepts and Typologies of Community Management for Rural Drinking Water Supply in India 

    5. Case Study Research Methodology 

    Part 2: Community Management Case Studies of Success from India 

    6. Community Management in the ‘Neo-patrimonial’, Low-income States 

    7. Community Management in the ‘Social-democratic’, Middle-income States 

    8. Community Management in the ‘Developmental’, High-Income States 

    9. Community Management in the Mountains and Hilly Regions of India  

    Part 3: Synthesis of Successful Community Management Arrangements in India 

    10. Organisational Arrangements for Successful Community Management 

    11. The Cost of Good Services 

    12. Monitoring and Regulation of Community Management 

    13. Aspects of Gender in Community Management 

    14. Discussion and Conclusions about Community Management in India and Beyond


    Paul Hutchings is a lecturer in water and sanitation at the Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, UK. 

    Richard Franceys is a consultant and led the Community Water Plus project as senior lecturer in water and sanitation management at Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, UK. 

    Stef Smits is a senior programme officer at IRC in the Netherlands. 

    Snehalatha Mekala is the regional advisor for SPLASH, South Asia, and national research coordinator for the Community Water Plus project based in Hyderabad, India.

    "This excellent book, based on a series of case studies in India on both the concept and practice of community management, has a wider relevance because of the rigour of the research, the clarity of the financial, social and institutional analysis and the relevance of the comparisons that it draws between different contexts and countries. Scholars, donors, service providers and all those interested or involved not just in rural water supply but more broadly in all aspects of development will enjoy and benefit from reading it." - Ravi Narayanan, Chair, Governing Council, Asia Pacific Water Forum

    "The challenge of everyone getting access to safe, affordable drinking water is at the heart of SDG6 and the central debate within the Rural Water Supply Network is how to achieve this. The era of the "build a water point/train the community/leave" water project is drawing to a close as the short-comings of this approach become ever more apparent. But where next? A return to large top-down programmes is unthinkable, and - despite much noise - the paradigm of the plucky entrepreneur has yet to prove itself to be a more sustainable and equitable alternative. The authors of Community Management of Rural Water Supply have delved into the rich, complex world of rural water supply in India (where the RWSN story began) and have produced insightful and thorough analysis from across the many different socio-economic and environment contexts found across the sub-continent. Researchers, practitioners and policymakers will find a lot here on how community, private and public water services can be strengthened so that the government plays an active role in ensuring their citizens are able to exercise their rights and responsibilities to get water, that most of essential of resources. This book is a valuable contribution to this challenge faced by rural water supply professionals worldwide." - Sean Furey, Skat Foundation/Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Secretariat