ARTICLE

 EcoEng Newsletter No. 12, June 2006

Community Mobilization for Execution & Management of Water Supply Schemes

Content No. 12/06
  Title page / Index
  Editorial
Articles:
  Water from the well
  Phototrophic biofilms
  Cameroon:
  optimising waste flow
  India: Water supply
  schemes in a slum
  Austria: Sewerless city
  Composting: Ch. 5
  PNG: Ecosan project
IEES:
  Biopros project
  Ecosan curriculum CD
EcoEng News:
  Newsbits
Satire:
  Joe Swamp
Various issues:
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  EE-Newsletter Flier
by Mohan Krishan Mudgal, EcoEng-correspondent

F-85/27 Tulsi Nagar
Bhopal- 462003
India











Mohan Mudgal (born 1965) post-graduated in geotechnical engineering at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Bhopal, India, in 1987. After 6 years as senior lecturer at the NIT Bhopal, he worked as assistant engineer in the implementation of the National River Conservation Plan India in Madhya Pradesh and then became Deputy Project Engineer in Lake Bhopal Conservation and Management Project (Bhoj Wetland Project), India - a prestigious project in ecological engineering.

Presently he is working as Technical Adviser on water and environmental sanitation in the Water for Asian Cities Programme of the UN-HABITAT Programme India.

 

Abstract

There is a general public perception that the water is a gift of nature, which is to be provided free by government mars the sustainability of water supply systems. But rapid population growth has put tremendous pressure on existing infrastructure. There is need for substantial investment for infrastructure development to cater the need of the people. Therefore necessitates the implementation of a participatory, demand driven approach, full cost recovery of operation and maintenance and replacement costs, which is expected to generate a sense of ownership and ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the schemes.

There are poverty pockets in the cities not having sustainable water supply but urban civic bodies (Municipal Corporations (MC), District urban development agencies (DUDA) etc), have no plan to connect these poverty pockets with normal water supply system of the city in near future. The Community Managed Water Supply Schemes (CMWSS) have taken up to demonstrate that it is possible to quickly improve the lives of the urban poor and the dis advantaged by connecting them to safe drinking water. CMWSS has been taken up in three cities of Madhya Pradesh viz: Jabalpur, Gwalior and Indore for pilot demonstration.

The projects are being implemented in partnership with UN-HABITAT, MC/DUDA and Community Water and Sanitation Committee (CWASC). UN-HABITAT has entered into an agreement with MC/DUDA for creating a revolving fund (RF) in the city for implementation of the CMWSS and future up scaling later on. Funds will be provided from the RF to CWASC for the implementation of CMWSS, which will be returned to the RF by the CWASC in instalments in due course of time depending on their paying capacity.The CWASC will plan, design and execute the scheme of their choice & collect the user charges, while MC/DUDA will provide the technical assistance and guidance. A pro-poor approach has been adopted in the implementation of the CMWSS and the upfront deposition of connection charges has been done away and replaced with easy installments.

The framework of implementation of CMWSS, project activities, funding pattern, and the responsibilities of partners have been discussed in the paper.

 

1 Introduction

Figure 1: Site of water tank for CMWSS-Indore, India

Historically, the public perception is that water is to be provided free by the government, whereas the present reformative perspective advocates water as a scare resource, which must be managed locally as a socio-economic good. This perception has grown out of the fact that substantial investment has been made in the sector and huge infrastructure and large number of systems built up but the sustainability of the system is still to be achieved.

There is a general recognition that a transformation from a target based, supply-driven approach which pays little attention to the actual practices and preferences of the end users to a demand-based approach where users get the service they want and are willing to pay for, is urgently required.

Implementation of a participatory, demand driven approach, full cost recovery of operation and maintenance and replacement costs is expected to generate a sense of ownership and ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the schemes.

 

1.1 Enabling framework

 

1.1.1 Principles:

The enabling framework for water supply and sanitation initiatives has to follow certain fundamental reform principles, which need to be adhered to. These principles are:

  1. Adoption of a demand-responsive approach along with community participation based on empowerment of the community to ensure their full participation in the project through a decision making role in the choice of the drinking water scheme, planning, design, implementation, control of finances and management arrangements;
  2. Community's full ownership of the assets through Community Water and Sanitation Committees(CWASCs);
  3. Community to bear full or partial capital cost of community asset on a sharing basis amongst themselves. This may be either in cash or kind including labour or both. 100% responsibility of operation and maintenance (O&M) with the community;
  4. Shifting the role of Government from direct service delivery to that of planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation, and partial financial support.
 

1.2. Operation, Maintenance and Management (O&M)

Operation, maintenance and management cost of the water supply network and community sanitation schemes will have to be fully borne by the concerned. This would include recurring costs like salary of operators, plumbers, sweepers and electricity charges as well as cost of periodic repair and renewal. It would be imperative on the part of the CWASC to have a full understanding and appreciation of the likely O&M costs of various technology options before they select the technology for their water supply scheme or decide to construct a community toilet.

The CWASC should take over the O&M of the existing schemes in the respective area. Towards this end, it is advisable that the CWASC maintain an Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Fund of a size that should be sufficient to meet the O&M cost of the scheme for at least six months. The CWASC would require mobilizing funds through levy and collection of user charges for the operation and maintenance activities.

Training to persons selected by the CWASC should be provided for operating and maintaining the drinking water and sanitation schemes.

 

2 Strategy for Community Managed Water Supply Scheme (CMWSS)

 

CMWSS is proposed to be taken up to demonstrate that it is possible to quickly improve the lives of the urban poor and the disadvantaged by connecting them to Safe Drinking Water. Through development of CMWSS and extending appropriate support to them, it will be possible to give immediate relief to the people. With the adoption of this strategy, it is expected that the users do not have to travel long distances or waste time queuing for water. The consumers will also be assured of continuous service or, if not continuous, on a regular basis (same time every day) and provided with enough water to cover their needs for daily house chores, which would facilitate proper housekeeping.

The CWASCs will be converted into legal entities like a registered society and supported by municipal functionaries to carry out the responsibilities of planning, designing, implementation, operation, maintenance and management of the CMWSS. Since collection of drinking water in houses is primarily done by women who need to be actively involved in planning, choice of technologies, location of systems, implementation, operation and maintenance of water supply schemes. For this purpose at least one third members of the CWASC shall be women.

 

2.1 Start up Activity

The start-up activities include conducting of baseline survey to assess the status of water supply and people's attitude as well as demand for improved services. It will also include conducting a Poverty Pocket Situational analysis which will be generated by an eyesight viewing of the poverty pockets, capturing features of the neighborhood that are representative of the persons living in the area.

 

2.2 Sensitization and Identification phase

Sensitizing and awareness creation among implementers (Government functionaries/ political representatives/ community) at all levels through various communication channels about the programme as well as assessment and analysis of the existing water supply systems. Communication campaign for awareness creation and demand generation should clearly give the following messages:

  1. The community will own and maintain the assets created;
  2. This is an one time investment in the locality;
  3. In case of two or more alternative technologies suitable to a particular area, the information regarding its capital cost, the beneficiary share, the O&M cost, the replacement cost etc. in respect of each technology will be carefully detailed;
  4. Full O&M and replacement cost to be borne by the community;
  5. Importance of water quality monitoring and surveillance;
  6. Importance and benefits of water recharging activities and possible technologies for water recharging activities in the area
 

2.3 Planning and Designing of scheme

The important steps involved are as follows:

  1. Design and estimation of the water scheme units based on the community choice.
  2. Consensus on the most appropriate scheme based on affordability and technical feasibility.
  3. Detailed designing, planning, and estimation and getting approval of the CWASC. The technology option should be acceptable, adaptable and affordable for the community.
  4. The selection of water supply technology for a given locality could be determined by a number of factors, such as technical feasibility, user's preferences and requirements combined with willingness to accept the technology.
  5. Site specific conditions such as availability and reliability of electricity supply, quality of ground water etc. must also be factored in by the community while making choice of technology. The service level shall be as per the user's preference.
  6. UN-HABITAT and MC/DUDA entering into a cooperation agreement for constitution of revolving fund (RF) for funding CMWSS project,
  7. MC/DUDA entering into a cooperation agreement with CWASC for providing funds for execution of CMWSS works and also for providing adequate water at the bulk water rate
 

2.4 Training & Capacity Building

Training activities to equip the community in the planning, designing, implementation, operation, maintenance and management of schemes of their choice will be taken up in CMWSS by MC/DUDA. They would be as below:

  1. Record keeping - financial management, transparency, maintenance of minutes of proceedings of community meetings;
  2. Communication with people - Communication activities;
  3. Technical matters like scheme planning, designing, installation, specification of various components, procurement and contracting procedure (if necessary), etc.
  4. Matters related to O&M, replacement of the schemes & monitoring structures etc. (during and after implementation of the chosen scheme);
  5. Crisis and conflict management.
 

2.5 Implementation and Commissioning

The important steps involved are as follows:

  1. Procurement of materials: CWASC shall certify the materials. The Municipal Corporation/DUDA shall guide and assist CWASCs to ensure that materials of standard quality are purchased.
  2. Introduction of basic billing and collection systems, collection of connection & monthly user charges will be done by CWASC;
  3. Opening and managing bank account for CMWSS activities and depositing user charges, managing the O&M activities under project and payback the capital cost to Municipal Corporation/DUDA;
  4. Execution of work - actual implementation of the scheme of choice of the community.
  5. Supervision by CWASC
  6. Completion, commissioning and taking over of completed schemes by CWASC for the continued O&M and replacement.
  7. Awareness and training on water quality testing, monitoring and surveillance
  8. Training of the CWASC Chairman and members besides selected residents for O&M, etc. as explained earlier at sensitizing stage
  9. Participation of CWASC whose schemes has been completed in awareness and training campaigns in other parts of the City
  10. A continuous process of monitoring and evaluation, review and mid-course correction (if any) be carried out by UN-HABITAT jointly with MC/DUDA and CWASC.
 

2.6 Execution of Community Managed Water Supply Scheme Capital Works

The Community Managed Water Supply Scheme will be considered as completed on fulfillments of the following conditions:

  1. All the schemes taken up under the project have been fully completed and taken over by the CWASC for operation and maintenance
  2. The audited project accounts for the entire expenditure has been received by the UN-HABITAT and taken on record.
  3. The CWASC after paying back the capital cost of CMWSS to MC/DUDA may decide to hand over it to MC for the integration with city's water supply system for onward O&M.
 

2.7 Post Execution Activities

Since Community Managed Water Supply Scheme is a process project designed to enable the community to have access to acceptable, adaptable, sustainable and affordable safe drinking water system, the reform process does not end with the physical completion of water supply schemes. In several ways, it marks the beginning of a new and more challenging phase in the process where the local community has to shoulder the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the system.

This entails putting into operation the decisions taken by the community with regard to tariff structure, collection of monthly water charges from the users, ensuring proper maintenance of the system so as to ensure reliable and regular supply of safe drinking water. Towards this end, the community will have to arrange for periodic quality checks of water being supplied as well as ensure sustainability of sources. All these activities would require high degree of community mobilization and awareness.

 

3 Funding CMWSS by revolving fund and its recovery

 

The project will be implemented in partnership with UN-HABITAT, MC/DUDA and CWASC. UN-HABITAT will enter into an agreement with MC/DUDA for the creating a revolving fund (RF) in the city for implementation of the CMWSS and future up scaling later on. Funds will be provided from the RF to CWASC for the construction of CMWSS, which will be returned to the RF by the CWASC in instalments in due course of time depending on their paying capacity.

For taking water connections the households are required to pay connection charges upfront to the Municipal Corporation which is often beyond their means. This is one of the major reasons why the poor sections of society lack in regular piped water supply connections and resort to illegal connections. A pro-poor approach has been adopted in the implementation of the CMWSS and the upfront deposition of connection charges has been done away and replaced with easy installments.

CMWSS has been taken up in three cities of Madhya Pradesh viz: Jabalpur, Gwalior and Indore for pilot demonstration. These have been taken up in partnership with Municipal Corporation at Jabalpur and Gwalior and with District Urban Development Agency at Indore and CWASC, the framework of implementation consisting of project activities, funding, and responsibilities of partners have been discussed here.

 

4 Description of Pilot Projects

 

4.1 Community Managed Water Supply Scheme at Gwalior:

The notified slum of Ramaji Ka Pura, Islampura and Subhash Nagar are situated in a hilly terrain of ward No. 1 of Gwalior city having 6'000 households almost totally below the poverty line. At present water is supplied through direct pumping with the time schedule for supply to this area being 2:00 AM to 4:00 AM. These odd hours of water supply keep the people awake almost the whole night round. Besides this, around 1'500 households located at relatively higher reaches of the hilly terrain do not get any water. They, therefore, purchase water from the households located in the lower reaches at around Rs 100/- per month. The higher reaches need to be supplied treated water by pumping to a ground level reservoir at the highest level to be created for the purpose.

A detailed survey has been conducted by the Gwalior Municipal Corporation (GMC) for the design of a network so that 24 hours water supply can be operated through it in the future. The pipe and accessories to be used are of the ISI marked make which are workable and durable. The total capital investment for the operation of the system has been estimated at Rs 30.0 lacs (US$ 68'000). Water will be supplied by constructing a ground level RCC reservoir of 420 kiloliters capacity. The GMC will contribute Rs 10.00 lacs (US$ 23'000) from the resources at its disposal. The balance amount is proposed to be met from the funds under the CMWSS component of the Water for Asian Cities Programme of the UN-HABITAT. The capital works execution is expected to take 6-9 months.

The GMC has agreed to provide water in adequate quantity at bulk water rates at Rs 2.0 per kilolitre to the CWASC, for the implementation of the project as per the norms of 70 liters per capita per day in for urban areas with no sewerage system. The GMC will be procuring and installing a bulk revenue meter at the inflow point for monitoring the water consumption. It will be responsible for periodic maintenance and calibration of the meter.

As it is evident, the poor are unable to get the piped water supply in their homes on account of high connection charges of Rs. 750 (US$ 17) which have to be paid at the start to the corporation. Under CMWSS this has been done away with and a pro poor approach taken in Ramaji Ka Pura, Islampura and Subhash Nagar which has the concurrence of the community after extensive consultation with them. Now each member of the community will be given the option to pay the connection charges in easy installments of Rs. 100/- per month (US$ 2.25) for seven and a half months. User charges of Rs. 80 (US$ 1.80) per month would be charged as per the normal prevailing rate in the municipality. The residents will also have the flexibility of weekly or fortnight payments. Fixed installments have been proposed as it does not appear to be practically feasible to meter the consumption of each household in this below poverty line area. The entire investment of Rs. 30 lacs (US$ 68000) would be recovered in 32 months for executing a similar piped water supply scheme elsewhere.

On completion of the pay back period of 32 months the CWASC may resolve to hand over the scheme to the GMC for operation and maintenance and ultimate integration with municipal supply with the residents only paying GMC for the water charges as per the prevailing rate then.

 

4.2 Community Managed Water Supply Scheme at Jabalpur

The notified slum of Bagra Dafai is located in Guarighat Ward of Jabalpur Municipal Corporation and is having more than 1200 households almost totally below the poverty line. At present the locality is being supplied water free from three tube wells of the municipal corporation which are supplying water to public stand posts. There is no piped water supply system in this locality. People queue up for substantial period in the morning, when the tube wells are operated, fill up water in buckets for their houses. On account of disputes regarding water allocation amongst the residents around 30 to 40 First Information Reports have been filed in the police station in the past. The electricity billing for each tube well is approximately Rs. 25'000 per month (US$ 556) which is presently borne by the Jabalpur Municipal Corporation (JMC). On top of this the underground water supply in the area is having excessive fluoride and is not conforming to the standards for safe drinking water. The households are however drinking this water due to lack of any other alternative.

A detailed survey has been conducted, by a registered society called Gaurighat Ekta Vikas Manch (GEVM) constituted mainly by Bagra Dafai residents has been present since January 2004. GEVM through a well known consulting/ contracting firm and a network designed in a manner so that 24 hours water supply system can be operated through it in the future. It proposes to supply the treated water of river Narmada from the Polypathor tank commissioned by JMC only a few months back. This overhead tank has negligible water supply distribution. Being in the vicinity of this overhead tank the area can be supplied with continuous treated water supply. As per the estimates the total capital cost of the project is Rs.22Lacs (US$ 50'000) and the GEVM is on the lookout for funds for execution of the works in a financially sustainable manner through the same firm which has done the network designing earlier. The capital works execution is expected to take 3-6 months.

The water will be supplied to the community at least eight hours in a day. Efforts would be made to increase the number of supply hours towards the target of uninterrupted 24 hour supply. The JMC has agreed to provide water in adequate quantity at bulk water rates at Rs 3.0 per kilolitre to the CWASC for the implementation of the project as per the norms of 70 liters per capita per day in for urban areas with no sewerage system. The JMC will be procure and installing a bulk revenue meter at the in the inflow point to Bagra Dafai for monitoring the water consumption. It will be responsible for periodic maintenance and calibration of the meter. On completion of the execution of the project, the JMC will remove all the three fluoride affected tube wells in the locality in keeping with their declared policy.

As it is evident, the poor are unable to get the piped water supply in their homes on account of high connection charges of Rs. 1375 (US$ 30) which have to be paid at the start to corporation. Under CMWSS this has been done away with and a pro poor approach taken in Bagra Dafai which has the concurrence of the community after extensive consultation with them. Now each member of the community would be making a lump sum payment Rs. 100 per month (US$ 2) for 36 months which would be utilized for making repayment for both capital works and user charges to the corporation as well as operation & maintenance of the system. The residents will also have the flexibility of weekly or fortnight payments. Fixed installments have been proposed as it does not appear to be practically feasible to meter the consumption of each household in this below poverty line area. The entire investment of Rs. 22 lacs (US$ 50'000) would be recovered in 3 years for executing similar piped water supply scheme elsewhere.

The JMC would also directly be benefited to the extent of Rs. 75000 on account of shutting down of the 3 tube wells running in the area. On completion of the pay back period of 36 months the CWASC may resolve to hand over the scheme to the JMC for operation and maintenance and ultimate integration with municipal supply with the residents only paying JMC for the water charges as per the prevailing rate then.

 Figure 2: Water tank under construction. CMWSS-Indore-India

4.3 Community Managed Water Supply Scheme at Indore

The notified slum of Shiv Nagar, Shahin Nagar, Pawan Putra Nagar, Kamal Nagar and Chowdhary Park Colony are situated in ward No. 64 of Indore city having 1200 houses almost below poverty line. Presently there are no dug wells or hand pumps available in the locality and the households are dependent on private tube well owners for their water requirements. The poor also fetch water from nearby Lakhani factory, which is located at a distance of 3 kms from colony. During summer people get water from the tankers of Indore Municipal Corporation and in other months they buy it from private tube wells. The locality needs to be supplied treated water by pumping to an elevated reservoir at the highest level to be created for the purpose. The project has the provision of connecting the reservoir to extended Narmada connection of IMC. IMC would be supplying water once in two days but the capacity of the tank will help the community for every day water supply.

A detailed door-to-door survey has been conducted by the District Urban Development Agency (DUDA) Indore team for assessing the current resources and the demand of water in the project area. The technical team of engineers also carried out a survey for the selection of site and for the construction of the elevated reservoir. The pipe and accessories to be used are of the ISI marked make, which are workable and durable. The total capital investment for the operation of the system has been estimated at Rs 3'024'000/ (US$ 68'000). The DUDA, Indore will contribute Rs 10.00 lacs (US$ 22'200) from the resources at its disposal. The balance amount (US$ 45000) is, proposed to be, met from the funds from the UN-HABITAT under the Community Managed Water Supply Scheme (CMWSS) component of the Water for Asian Cities programme. If the project execution can be started in March 2006 then it shall be commissioned from September 2006.

The network has been designed in a manner that water supply for at least 4 hours a day could be maintained. It is proposed to supply water as per the norms of 70 litres per capita per day for piped water connections. Efforts would be made to increase the number of supply hours towards the target of uninterrupted 24 hour supply. It is expected that initially all the 1200 households will be willing to take connections. The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has agreed to provide water at bulk water rates at Rs 2.0 per kilolitre, in adequate quantity for the implementation of the project. IMC would be supplying water once in two days but the capacity of the tank will help the community for every day water supply. The DUDA, Indore/IMC will be procuring and installing a bulk revenue meter at the inflow point for monitoring the water consumption. It will be responsible for periodic maintenance and calibration of the meter.

As it is evident, the poor are unable to get the piped water supply in their homes on account of high connection charges of Rs. 2500 (US$ 55) which have to be paid at the start to the corporation. Under CMWSS this has been done away with and a pro poor approach taken, which has the concurrence of the community after extensive consultation with them. Now each member of the community will be given the option to pay the connection charges in easy installments of Rs. 200/- per month (US$ 4.45) for five months. User charges of Rs. 60 (US$ 1.50) per month would be charged as per the normal prevailing rate in the municipality. Fixed installments have been proposed as it does not appear to be practically feasible to meter the consumption of each household in this below poverty line area. The entire investment of Rs. 30.24 lacs (US$ 68'000) would be recovered in 46 months for executing a similar piped water supply scheme elsewhere.

On completion of the pay back period of 46 months the CWASC may resolve to hand over the scheme to the Indore Municipal Corporation for operation and maintenance and ultimate integration with municipal supply with the residents only paying IMC for the water charges as per the prevailing rate then.

© 2006, International Ecological Engineering Society, Wolhusen, Switzerland