Use of Safe Water
INDICATOR PHRASING: % of households using drinking water from an improved source which is not more than a 30 minute roundtrip including queuing.
What is its purpose?
Waterborne diseases are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children. The indicator therefore assesses the proportion of the target households using drinking water from an improved source the distance of which is not more than 30 minutes for a roundtrip including queuing (i.e. so called “basic drinking water services”).
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of the main household members responsible for water collection:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Q1: What are your household’s most commonly used sources of drinking water during this season?
A1: (multiple answers possible)
1) tube well or borehole
2) protected shallow well
3) harvested rainwater
4) piped water / public tap
5) protected spring
6) surface water source (river, stream, pond, puddles, unprotected spring)
7) unprotected/ open shallow well
8) cart with small tank / drum
10) other: ................................
NOTE: Only options 1 - 5 count as “safe water sources”.
Q2: How long does it usually take you to get to the water source, collect the water and bring it back home?
A2 Select one of the following:
1) 30 minutes or less
2) more than 30 minutes
If the data is collected in an area in which there are significant differences in the water availability across different seasons, repeat Q1 and Q2 for the other season(s) as well. For example, if Q1 and Q2 asked about water availability in the rainy season, ask the same questions about water availability in the dry season.
Calculate the number of households that in all seasons, on most of days, access water from safe sources (i.e. answers to Q1 are 1 - 5 only) and for which the collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a roundtrip including queuing. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this situation is described as people using “basic drinking water services” (learn more in chapter 2.2 of the document provided at the bottom of this page).
To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of households using "basic drinking water services" by the total number of surveyed households. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
Disaggregate the data by geographical location and wealth.
1) If you work in a context with extremely low water availability, consider also assessing whether the household is able to access the minimum quantity of water. The minimum can be defined by national standards or by the Sphere standards (at least 15 litres per person per day – read Sphere’s Water supply standard 2.1: Access and water quantity).
2) In some regions, water sources are prone to significant seasonal differences (e.g. dry / rainy season). In such contexts, your assessment must collect data separately for each of the main seasons. At the same time, the baseline and endline data must be collected at the same time of year; otherwise, it is very likely that they will not be comparable.
3) Always be very clear on the kind of water you are asking about – drinking water can have adifferent source from water used for washing.
4) Ensure that the data collectors are able to differentiate between the different types of water sources (based on an interview only).
5) Consider asking people who do not use a safe source of drinking water (i.e. their answer to Q1 is anything between 6 and 10) why they do not use a safe source of drinking water (especially if this source is available).