delivery through tanker service or sachet or bottled water is the most expensive and tanker delivery costs many times the tap water price. Therefore, the consumers paying the most for water are the ones with the lowest income (Alaci and Alehegn, 2009).
2.2 Approaches to Water Supply
2.2.1. Supply oriented approach
As stated by Mani (2000), the supply oriented water supply approach focuses on technical elements and monopolistic public service delivery this had failed to deliver the required levels of services and resulted in the use of several alternatives to substitute and augment the piped water supply. It is now realized that the conventional “supply oriented” planning has aggravated the gaps in service delivery. Moreover, supply orientation is found to be unsustainable for it is economically inefficient, socially inequitable and environmentally hazardous. This is briefly observed as under:-
• Economically inefficient, as low-income countries find it impossible to recover the costs of large-scale piped networks, high costs are incurred in pumping and transferring water over long distances and a growing demand is created for more government subsidies. Moreover, piped services are priced well below the full costs of service provision, thereby subsidizing the affluent, and leading to chronic budget deficits and dependence on external finance.
• Socially inequitable, as certain consumers, generally the poor and low income groups residing in the slums and urban fringe areas are excluded from the use of these services.
• Environmentally hazardous, as supply orientation in the water sector stresses the hydrological limits of the region and inflicts environmental costs.
Water supply and sewerage are customarily planned for large, centrally controlled, technology-intensive piped networks with a greater emphasis on production and distribution of water than on maintenance of the system and analogous construction of sewerage facilities.
2.2.2. Demand oriented approach
Mani (2000), identified that the demand orientation with a focus on service consumers? needs and willingness to pay (WTP) full costs of services, competitive markets, and broader participation of the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) is now being incorporated into water supply strategies. Moreover, the demand orientation is potentially more economically efficient as demand oriented infrastructure delivery consists of competitive markets, and broader participation of the private sector, or water surrogates. And then, social responsibility also increases as demand orientation requires greater responsiveness to users? needs and fairness, and participation of the private sector, NGOs and CBOs in service delivery. Environmental degradation is minimized as a demand management in the water sector is valuable in ensuring that a limited supply of water distributed to match the optimal use pattern for the resources. However, in the urban areas, the demand responsive approach has so far been limited to a few programs such as the slum-networking program targeting the poor living in slums and squatter settlements.
2.3. Challenges of urban water supply and distribution
In the provision of sufficient clean water to urban dwellers, the world faced many challenges, which are related to capacity of the nations, (i.e. technological knowhow and institutional), inadequate finance, rapid urbanization and declining of global water resource.
2.3.1. Lack of capacity
According to Wallace et al (2008), capacity is a flexible concept and encompasses the public sector, academia; community based organizations and the private sectors, and ranges from the individual to institutions to society as a whole. Capacity can be described in terms of the human, technological, infrastructural, institutional and managerial resources required at all levels from the individual through to national governance. Not only does capacity have to be built within each of these levels, but it has to be institutionalized and local communities need to be empowered to use it effectively. Additionally, capacity building incorporates the followings.
I. The capacity to engage, educate and train; including community awareness building, adult training and formal education; so as to provide sufficient numbers of competent human resources to develop and apply enabling systems within the local environment.
II. The capacity to measure and understand aquatic systems through monitoring, applied research, technology development and forecasting, so that reliable data are used for analysis and decision making.
III. The capacity to develop policies and programs and to legislate, regulate and achieve compliance through effective governmental, non governmental and private sector institutions and through efficient enforcement and community acceptance.
IV. The capacity to identify and provide appropriate and affordable water technologies, infrastructure services and products through sustained research, investment and management.
2.3.2 Technological capacity
Innovative technologies are essential to overcome barriers to water service provision. Technological capacity includes the development and application of new technologies, the technical skills needed to effectively construct, operate and manage a technical solution; the translation of information regarding technologies to promote informed decision-making when implementing a technical solution; the availability and accessibility of spare parts (Sijbesma, 1989 cited from Challa 2011). However, technology providers need a better understanding of local conditions and policies.
2.3.3. Institutional capacity
There is a need for institutions that bring together many disciplines, such as the natural sciences, public health, engineering and the social sciences. Integration and interaction between institutions and different sectors of the population, at decision-making, executive and participative levels is required to plan and execute actions in a coordinated way. This integration is the basis for multi spectral approaches to ensure that planned goals are achieved and actions converge to solve environmental, water and health problems (Wallace et al, 2008).
2.3.4. Inadequate financing
Historically, water has suffered from severe under financing. These results from inadequate internal financial capacity in the poor countries to achieve water goals; poor political decisions for allocation of development aid; an overall reduction over time in development aid; and the limited cost recovery potential in poverty stricken regions (Wallace et al, 2008).
For example, for 2005 Water Supply Millennium Development Goal-Needs Assessment Report by the government of Ethiopia estimates the investment requirements for water at US$297 million per year for the next ten years (2006-2015). Per capita investment for water in urban and rural areas is US$105 and US$41 respectively. Total government allocation and commitment for WSS over the next seven years has been projected at US$12 million (US$5.4 million for rural, and US$6.6 million for urban). Given the cost recovery policy for capital, operations and maintenances costs, community investment is projected at US$16 million over the next ten years. Projected ODA is US$75 million per year for the next ten years, based on commitments from a variety of donors. Still, this leaves a financing gap of US$197 million per year (Challa, 2011).
In addition, poor targeting of aid and a multiplicity of actors and structures compound the financial shortfall. Prioritization of spending plays a key role, with many developing countries investing only a small fraction of money into water compared with military spending. For instance, military spending in Ethiopia is 10 times greater than that spent on water and sanitation and in Pakistan the discrepancy is even greater 47 times (UNDP, 2006, cited from Challa 2011). Wallace et al (2008) also stated that, to ensure that resources for safe water and sanitation are used effectively at the local level, the local capacities to design, finance and manage improved service delivery must be greatly enhanced.
2.3.5. Population growth and urbanization
Population growth and rapid urbanization will create a severe scarcity of water as well as tremendous impact on the natural environment. According to UNPP (2006) in Challa 2011, in less developed countries, urban population will grow from 1.9 billion in 2000 to 3.9 billion in 2030, averaging 2.3% per year. Besides having less or not invested in urban infrastructure, Africa is urbanizing faster than any other region. Between 1990 and 2025, the total urban population is expected to grow from 300 to 700 million; and by 2020, it is expected that over 50% of the population in African countries will reside in urban areas. According to Cleophace (2007), in order to meet the established millennium development goal of ‘halving the unsaved population by 2015’; urban Africa will require 80% increase in the numbers of people served. This objective would require, on average, about 6,000 to 8,000 new connections every day. Political commitment to these goals, backed by resources and action is essential if utilities are to prevent a widening of the gap between ‘saved’ and ‘unsaved’ households.
According to the 1994 Ethiopia population census report showed, the total urban population was 7,323,122 (13.7% of the total population), after ten years (i.e. 2004) the total urban population increased to 17,588,735 (32.89%) and by the year 2015 urban population is going to increase by 22,925,177 (32.26%) Ethiopia Central Statistical Authority (1994, 2004 and 2015 projection). In order to meet the future water demand, cities will need to tap their water supply either from a deep ground or surface sources situating a far distance away from the urban area (Challa, 2011).
2.3.6. Increasing global water scarcity
UN-HABITAT (2006) stated that, not only is the numbers of those requiring better water supplies very large, water itself is becoming scarcer. The number of people living in water stressed and water scarce over the world is estimated to increase approximately six fold from 1995 to 2025 to reach 2.8 billion. In addition to these challenges, Bereket (2006) states that the single most influential factor related to the sustainable provision of basic water service in turn is that of poverty. The lack of availability of basic services is a primary measure of poverty and poverty is the primary obstacle in the provision of basic services.
2.4 Experience of developing countries
The growing population of most developing countries is disproportional in urban areas. This places considerable pressure on already over burdened budgets to increase the water supply and waste water infrastructure. Moreover, little or no resources are left to supply, let alone, improve water supply. To add to the problems, money is spent on studies that would not be implemented. Projects are constructed, but never been implemented (J.Helweg, 2000). As a result, the water supply in the developing world is still very inadequate. In Africa for example more than 47 per cent of urban households are without access to safe water.
Global Water Assessment Report (2000, cited from Assefa 2006) also estimated that over one-third of the urban water supply in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and more than that, half of those in Asia, operate intermittently. Intermittent water supply is a significant constraint to the availability of water for hygiene and encourages the low income urban population to turn to alternatives such as water vendors. These water vendors often charge many times more than the formal water tariff for water that often is of doubtful quality and not available in adequate amount.
Mani (2000) identified elements of demand orientation from traditional demand estimations as demand estimations are traditionally based on population levels, current consumption levels, patterns of service consumption, and household characteristics.
According to Munasinghe (cited from Assefa, 2006), demand management can be best achieved through three main mechanisms:
The selection of a system coverage and service expansion plan to provide consumers with a high level of service that discourages the use of alternative services;
The setting of a tariff regime to control consumption, distribute social benefits and raise revenue for the sector.
The education of consumers on water use practices to encourage greater efficiency and productivity in the use of water, and the minimizing of losses (Ibid).
2.5 Benefits of access to water supply and distribution
The importance of water as the most fundamental constituent of life needs no explanation. It was, it is, and it will remain a vital element for the survival of the human race. It is understood that our body is made up of about 70 percent water and that it controls virtually every aspect of our health. The importance of water is not only attached to the drinking but also to cooking, bathing, washing and other activities. Thus, water is the most important of all public services. It is the most essential necessity of life after oxygen. Anything that disturbs the provision and supply of water therefore tends to disturb the very survival of humanity (Wonder, 2007). Today, more than ever, water is both slave and master to people. We use water in our homes for cleaning, cooking, bathing, and carrying away wastes. We use water to irrigate dry farm lands so we can grow more food. Our factories use more water than any other material. We use the water in rushing rivers and thundering water falls to produce electricity (Word Book encyclopedia, vol.21, 2001).
Access to safe, sufficient and affordable water is one of the basic indispensable human right as well as a prerequisite for improving the overall life of a society. The provision of sufficient potable water for peoples within reasonable distances from a reliable and acceptable source is essential for people’s wellbeing and sustainable economic progress (Hofkes, 1986 cited in Yitayh, 2011).
2.5.1 Water supply and development
Water has been vital to the development and survival of civilization. The first great civilizations arose in the valleys of great rivers-in the Nile valley of Egypt, the Tigris-Euphrates valley of Mesopotamia and the Huang Ho valley of China. All these civilizations built large irrigation systems, made the land productive and prospered. Civilizations crumbled when water supplies failed or poorly managed. Many historians believe the Sumerian civilization of ancient Mesopotamia fell because of poor irrigation practice (Word Book encyclopedia, vol.21, 2001).
Water is quite literally a source of life and prosperity and a cause of death and devastation. Aside from the air we breathe, freshwater is our most precious resource, something upon which all life depends. Throughout history humans have tended to take fresh-water for granted, generally assigning little value to it beyond their immediate needs. That is probably because it seemed to be in abundant supply (Caso, 2010). Water has always played, and continues to play, a central role in human societies. It is an input, to a greater or lesser extent, to almost all production (in agriculture, industry, energy, transport, by healthy people in healthy ecosystems. For poor countries it is a key to improving food security and reducing poverty. It is also a force for destruction catastrophically through drought, flood, landslides and epidemic, as well as progressively through erosion, inundation, desertification, pollution and disease (Mwendera et al,
Access to essential resources and services has come to be recognized as positively related to development such that inaccessibility or lack of access is cited as lack of development or symptoms of underdevelopment (Ayeni, 1987 and Moseley 1979 cited Alaci, 2004). To the extents that improved access to essential services has become an accepted part of measure of development and standard of living (Alaci and Alehegn, 2009).