What would your day look like if the closest place to fetch water was an hour's walk away?
Around the world, lack of water access is one of the key markers of poverty, and in rural villages around the world, women and children regularly travel for this long or more each way, every day, to fetch water for the home. Piped water systems that bring the water directly into a community are known to be a revolutionary innovation for the rural poor. But what is their real impact on the households that use them, and what can we do to ensure that users reap the most benefit?
I propose to work in Nepal with a global leader in this field, International Development Enterprises, to document and improve their existing piped water system models, to prepare guidelines for their development and construction in resource-poor communities worldwide, and to actively disseminate the findings globally, with a goal of making affordable water systems like these freely accessible to everyone.