Lucrezia Biteete, Kelsey Lantz, Andreas G. Koestler
As rural water services are increasingly provided through small piped systems, it is necessary to develop new management models with more focus on business and entrepreneurship. However, there is a lack of data from the field in order to develop sound business plans. This paper provides data from three rural piped schemes in Western Uganda, which have been running over a number of years. Service levels are analysed, as well as income levels and the external factors that affect income levels such as rainfall. Secondly, local expenditures were grouped in the WASHCost categories part of the Life-Cycle Costs Approach, in order to understand how the scheme management spends their money. The paper shows that although individual schemes are able to cover operating costs, they are still not able to cover capital maintenance costs. Although households are generally willing to contribute extra money in case of a large breakdown, their ability to pay is not sufficient for rehabilitation and replacement. The paper provides important data from real communities that should be taken into account when developing new management models, support mechanisms and business plans for private sector involvement in the provision of rural water services.