Explanation of the criteria for classification and numbering of components K70.1.03
(APR 01)
Explanation of the dates on the component's description



1. Purpose and objectives

To provide practical guidelines on integrated planning, construction and management of rural water supply in ‘hard rock’ dryland areas (approximately two-thirds of dryland areas are underlain by hard rock geology), including costs and sociological aspects. To present findings of research in southern Africa into why conventional wells and boreholes fail.

2. Description

A productive water point is a public water supply, such as a well, designed to provide more water than is needed for domestic use alone. The surplus can be used for production to generate income, alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life in dry areas threatened by water shortage and livelihood insecurity. The water point will typically be locally owned and maintained and serve 20 or more families.

In this book the author shows how groundwater resources can be used to support production, both by more effective use of existing water points and by improved siting, selection and design for new sites. The approach throughout is practical, particular attention being given to answering the most commonly asked questions about productive water points. Extensive use is made of boxes to summarize key points, and each chapter has a list of references and suggestions for further reading.

Following an introduction, there is an overview of the groundwater resource and why wells and boreholes fail. Alternative well designs are described and classified. The economic costs and benefits of various ground and surface water options are discussed and compared with those of standard
domestic water points.

Chapters 4 and 5 contain flow charts, decision trees and detailed information on how to make more effective use of existing water points, and siting, selecting and constructing new points. Emphasis here is on choosing design and technology appropriate to the site. There follows a discussion of the key steps involved in working in partnership with the community. This addresses issues of planning, local participation in design, construction and maintenance, and the special management problems that come with community ownership.

Points arising from experience in southern Africa, and environmental problems, such as groundwater depletion, are also discussed. The last chapter looks to the future of rural water supply in dryland areas, and the institutional arrangements that will be needed to cope with increasing population pressure. The appendices contain a cost/benefit analysis of 13 water points, examples of pumping tests, example contracts and constitution for a project, and address regulation for safe maintainable yield.

3. Input

Not applicable.

4. Output

Not applicable.

5. Operational requirements and restrictions


6. Form of presentation

Book of 229 pages, with 34 figures 35 tables, 4 appendices, a glossary of technical terms and a detailed index.

7. Operational experience

From ten years experience of development using both ground and surface water resources in southern Africa.

8. Originator and technical support

This report was prepared by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford OX10 8BB, UK in association with the Intermediate Technology Development Group of Intermediate Technology Publications.

9. Availability

From the UK HOMS Office, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford OX10 8BB, UK. Generally for sale, but single copies available free at the discretion of the UK HOMS Office. Also available from book retailers (ISBN 1 85339 516 1).

10. Conditions on use

Subject to the usual laws of copyright with respect to reproduction and distribution.


(First entered: 4 MAY 01

Last updated: 23 APR 01)