Wikipedia:WikiProject Water supply and sanitation by country/Manual of Style

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This page provides an overview of the content which should be included in coutry topic overviews in the field of water supply and sanitation. The given structure is not definite! If you do not find information for any section or consider it irrelevant for your country, leave it out. If you think you should mention something which does not fit in the subheadings, just create a new one! Once finished the other steps, please write an introductory paragraph summarizing the main findings. For any questions concerning the writing style please check the Manual of Style.


This section contains figures about the percentage of the rural and the urban population which has access to water and sanitation services. In order to compare access in different countries, we rely on the Joint Monitoring Programme by WHO and UNICEF. You can get the figures for your country in the respective documents at and

Access to Water and Sanitation in Exampleland (2004)
(xx% of the population)
(xx% of the population)
Water Broad definition xx% xx% xx%
House connections xx% xx% xx%
Sanitation Broad definition xx% xx% xx%
Sewerage xx% xx% xx%

Please try to make a table like in the one above. In addition, please describe if the figures are relatively high or low compared to the regional standard. If available, alternative figures, e.g. by a national state agency or water institution are welcome! These figures are often more differentiated, showing many different sources of water supply. For examples of such detailed breakdowns, see Water supply and sanitation in Guyana and Water supply and sanitation in Argentina (in Spanish).

Service quality[edit]

This section is about the quality of water supply and sanitation services, not about the quality of water resources. However, the state of water resources can mentioned as a reason for water quality.

Continuity of supply[edit]

Here, usually a percentage of continuity of supply (are there any interruptions of distribution) is given. In most cases, it is not easy to get figures for the whole country. A typical statement would be: “People in x receive water for 20 hours a day” or “continuity is 70%”.

Drinking water quality[edit]

This is about the quality of the water which people are supplied with. Is it drinkable? Is there any monitoring data? Any kind of contamination? Incidents?

Sewer services[edit]

This refers to the quality of sewer services, such as the incidence of sewer overflows.

Wastewater treatment[edit]

Is there any wastewater treatment and if yes, what is the quality of the treated water? What share of the collected wastewater is being treated? What share of the wastewater treatment plants is operating adequately?

Water resources[edit]

In this section you can write a short overview of water resources in your country.

Water use[edit]

This section can include the estimated residential water use, usually expressed in liter per capita per day. For purposes of comparison, this figure should not be about water production, which is higher than water use because of Non-revenue water. If data are available, the figures should distinguish between average water use across user categories (residential, commercial, public institutions) and residential use per se. Past trends in water use are also of interest. You can also write about the allocation of water to the different sectors (agricultural, industrial, residential use).

History and recent developments[edit]

Here you can write about the development of the water and sanitation sector in your country. For instance, you can mention when a Ministry or other institution was created or dissolved. Also, the different water policies intended and/or implemented in the past decades can be mentioned, as well as large infrastructure projects and events that attracted media attention, such as outbreaks of water contamination or major natural disasters. By its very nature this section is often somewhat "political" and needs to be carefully worded to maintain a neutral point of view.

To conclude this section, please state what are the recent developments concerning water supply and sanitation policies.

Usually this section does not include the early history (pre-20th century) of water and sanitation.

Responsibility for water supply and sanitation[edit]

This section should give an overview of the institutional structure of the sector. Who is responsible for what? In some countries, we find the problem of overlapping responsibilities.

Policy and regulation[edit]

Which agencies are responsible for water and sanitation policies at the national, regional and local levels? In most cases you will find many different institutions. Are there any regulatory agencies for the economic regulation of utilities, for the environment and for public health? If yes, how independent are they from political influence?

Service provision[edit]

Who actually provides water and sanitation services? In most cases, you will find a public utility. However, you may find also national utilities, state-level utilities in federal states, private companies, cooperatives or water user associations/community-based organizations, the latter particularly in rural areas. In many cases, different providers carry out the services in urban and rural areas. Simultaneously, wastewater services (sewerage and wastewater treatment) are often provided by a separate institution, and another one may be in charge of promoting and regulating on-site sanitation through septic tanks or improved latrines.

Other functions[edit]

Any other responsibility that does not match in 6.1 and 6.2. For instance, NGOs may play a part. Professional associations, business associations and research institutes may also play important roles in the sector. Social funds build water and sanitation infrastructure in a number of developing countries.


There is no consensus on what "efficiency" means related to water and sanitation services. There is no commonly used indicator about the economic efficiency of utilities, which is about the optimal allocation of resources and would be achieved if the marginal price of water equals its marginal cost, a condition that is seldom fulfilled in reality. Therefore, the efficiency of water utilities is commonly measured using technical efficiency indicators that are only partial measures of efficiency. These technical indicators include non-revenue water (NRW)/unaccounted-for water (UFW) and labor productivity, as measured by the number of employees per 1,000 connections. Although there is no agreement among professionals, Tynan and Kingdom propose a best practice target of 23% NRW and 5 employees per 1,000 connections in developing countries.[1]

  1. ^ Tynan, Nicola; Kingdom, Bill (2002-04-01). "A Water Scorecard. Setting Performance Targets for Water Utilities" (PDF). Public Policy Journal. The World Bank Group (242). Retrieved 2008-05-19.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)

Financial aspects[edit]

Tariffs and cost recovery[edit]

If information is available, the part on tariffs should ideally include information about tariff levels (average tariff, separated by water supply and sewerage), the extent of customer metering, tariff structures (whether different categories of users such as residential and commercial users are charged at different rates, and whether tariffs are linear, increasing-block tariffs or other), what are the procedures for changing tariffs, how tariffs have evolved over the past years, and the average level of a monthly water and sewer bill. For purposes of comparison, in the case of volumetric tariffs it is suggested to include the bill for a consumption of 20 cubic meter per month.

For easier comparison, please convert all prices (also in other sections) into US Dollars. You can use to find the exchange rate of the respective year. You may also want to convert the amount into constant US Dollars, using deflators which you can get at the World Bank's database. Tariffs may differ according to service provider, area and/or socioeconomic class.

Concerning cost recovery it would be useful to state to what extent tariff revenues recover operation and maintenance costs, and total costs. If available, information on collection efficiency (share of water bills actually paid) should be included. In developing countries, while there are large differences between countries, it is uncommon that revenues from tariffs recover all costs for delivering the services.

Finally, a section about affordability would be useful, showing what share of household income or expenditure is spent on water and sewer services, ideally differentiating between an average income household and a poor household (say, in the lowest income quintile).

Investment and financing[edit]

Here you should provide figures about the total investments in the WSS sector, which is however often difficult to separate from other water resources investments (agriculture, reservoirs etc.). If possible, please mention where the funding comes from, since in many cases it is not from tariff revenues. Some low-income countries depend heavily on external funding by development agencies/banks, while others finance most investments through tax revenues and a few middle-income countries have reached high levels of self-financing by utilities.

External cooperation[edit]

Here you should mention development aid by any bilateral agency or international financial institution. See the List of development aid agencies, identify the ones working in your country and check their websites, in particular any project search pages maintained by the larger aid agencies.

You can search for projects at the following sites:

Innovative approaches[edit]

In this section you can mention any notable innovative institutional, social or technical approaches that have been tested in your country in water supply and sanitation. The approaches do not have to have been successful to be included. Usually innovative approaches face challenges and it would be useful to include these challenges as well. Only approaches that have been tested for a few years should be included, so that some information is available how well they have worked. If the approaches have been initiated in one locality first and then have been replicated in others this would also be worthwhile to include.


For referencing in Wikipedia, please see citation templates.

See also[edit]

Related Wikipedia articles

External links[edit]

You can for instance post a URL to relevant Ministries, major utilities, regulatory agencies, professional associations, research institutes and national statistical agencies.BLA BLA SINCE IT IS SOME DUM I DO NOT SEE WHY WE NEED IT SO MUNCH IT IS NOT LIKE ANYBODY USES IT ANY MORE US THE PEOPLE HAVE THE INTERNET SO THEREFORE WE DO NOT NEED SINCE