Research

Our research and impact

Research conducted by WEDC experts resulted in safe water supplies for over a million people
Research conducted by WEDC experts resulted in safe water supplies for over a million people
Research conducted by WEDC experts resulted in safe water supplies for over a million people

Improving access to water in developing countries

  • Research conducted by WEDC experts resulted in safe water supplies for over a million people.

Research conducted by WEDC experts has resulted in safe water supplies for over a million people.

Less than 20% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa use piped water. In urban areas, non-piped sources – including boreholes, springs and hand-dug wells – are highly susceptible to contamination.

Research conducted by experts from the University’s Water Engineering and Development Centre has helped more than one million people to access safe urban water services – enhancing their health and quality of life.

Three major projects confirmed that many people would pay for piped-water services, but that the cost – particularly the initial installation charge – is too high. The work also established a methodology for implementing Water Safety Plans.

The findings formed the basis of the Ugandan National Water and Sewerage Corporation’s (NWSC) change-management programmes – resulting in improved services for existing customers and encouraging thousands of new households to access safe piped water services.

Impact

  • Affordable safe water 

    An improved understanding of customers and differentiated service levels and pricing has ensured that people can afford safe piped water

  • Improved services 

    Existing NWSC customers have received improved services and 526,000 customers have been able to access safe piped water

  • Cascading knowledge 

    NWSC has provided advisory and consultancy services in change-management programmes for urban water utilities in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean

  • One million people 

    In total the research has helped more than one million people to access safe piped water services and resulted in a safe, stable and profitable water supply sector.