Is volumetric pricing for drinking water an effective revenue strategy in rural Mali?

This paper is based on an analysis of over 4,000 months of handpump revenue data in Mali, exploring the effect on revenue and usage when a water service switches from a volumetric tariff to a monthly flat fee. The switch from volumetric to flat fees led to three times more monthly revenue, although a subsidy gap persists. Flat fees and higher temperatures were linked to higher water usage, offering insights into the role of professional service delivery models to support climate-resilient and reliable drinking water supplies for rural communities.

Tracing contaminants of emerging concern in the Awash River basin, Ethiopia

This study focuses on characterization of Emerging Organic Contaminants (EOCs) in the Awash River basin. Characterization of the EOCs was supplemented by chemical analysis of samples from river, boreholes, tap water, and surface water reservoirs. Analyses of environmental isotopes (δ 2 H, δ 18 O, and 222Rn) were used to investigate the exchange of contaminants between surface and groundwater supply sources. The analysis showed new types of contaminants in the water supply sources with potential impact on human and wider environmental health.

Science–practitioner partnerships for sustainable development

How can we design funding models which are flexible and appropriate for science to deliver and sustain development impacts? A Nature Water Comment piece explores this question based on global experience to inform science funding bodies, governments, and donors. It offers a rethink of traditional science engagement to promote longer term collaboration including foundational science, advisory science, operational science and reflexive science.

Creating an enabling environment for research impact

This discussion document draws on perspectives of researchers, research users from government and UN agencies, and funders, to reflect on the enabling environment that funders and universities can create to support the translation of research into impact. Areas for funders to focus on to strengthen enabling environments include (1) fostering science-practitioner networks, (2) enhancing collaborative research environments based on equitable partnerships, and (3) shifting financing and incentives to sustain partnerships for impact at scale.

Policy and practice recommendations on flood risk management in the Awash basin

In 2020, extreme rainfall triggered massive flooding and severe damage to property in Ethiopia’s Awash river basin. The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) examined climatic and non-climatic drivers of this event and its impacts on different social groups. Recommended action points for practitioners and policy makers include institutional design for coordinated flood management and response, collaboration on operational guidance and improved early warning system, revision of studies based on recent science and data, improving access to data for researchers and research-users, integration of indigenous knowledge into flood risk preparedness and research, and strengthening of Awash-flood related research in Ethiopia’s university and higher education institutions. Gender-responsive interventions to flooding are critical.

Story of Change: Progress to deliver safe drinking water services to 100 million rural people by 2030

In 2021, REACH and RWSN led a global diagnostic survey to identify rural water service providers in 68 countries with interest or existing experience in results-based funding. Results suggested that up to 68 service providers in 28 countries could potentially provide results-based services to 5 million rural people. Subsequently, the Uptime Catalyst Facility has expanded results-based contracts for reliable water services serving 1.5 million rural people in 7 countries in 2022 to over 5 million people in 17 countries, including Latin America and India in 2024.

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