A Whole Water Approach


A user-friendly guide for implementing robust, durable water systems that could address water access challenges in rural areas in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.


LOCATION: Nepal, Ethiopia
Client: Winrock International Rockefeller Foundation
Role: Strategist, Designer, Researcher


For the rural poor in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, domestic or irrigation water sources are often used for purposes other than their intended use – exhausting available quantities, decreasing reliability, or causing unsafe water consumption.

Taking a holistic whole water approach, MUWS (Multiple Use Water Systems) is a design process that involves designing water services to be ready for a variety of uses from the start, resulting in systems that are more robust, durable, healthier, and profitable for their users.

To help amplify the use of this process, IDEO.org partnered with Winrock International. Conducting fieldwork in dozens of communities in rural Nepal and Ethiopia, the collaboration resulted in a dynamic and graphical guide that helps simplify and articulate a process for Multiple-Use Water Services.

A project of IDEO.org

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