207398 Delivering water to rural communities: The capacity of Small Water Enterprises to provide improved water

Monday, November 9, 2009

Melissa Opryszko, MPH , Environmental Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Yayi Guo, MHS , Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Kellogg J. Schwab, PhD , Department of Environmental Health Sciences/Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Small water enterprises (SWEs) are found throughout the world delivering water at the community level in regions beyond the reach of piped water systems. Their ubiquity in the developing world suggests that they may prove valuable in improving potable water availability and access to vulnerable populations. SWEs adapt quickly to local demands and range from hand delivery of 20L water vessels to tanker trucks carrying water from utilities to outlying regions. SWEs are not dependent on infrastructure or large investments although there is growing interest in community kiosk-based SWEs selling treated water. However, the quality of the water delivered by SWEs is largely unknown and often thought to be poor. A recent literature review found a lack of rigorous evidence-based peer-reviewed studies that examine the effectiveness of SWEs in providing potable water.

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Water and Health is evaluating SWEs in five Ghanaian villages. These community-based SWEs utilize water kiosks that house sand filtration, activated carbon and ultraviolet light to treat surface water and distribute microbiologically safe water to community members. Evaluation criteria include community acceptance, affordability, improvements in health outcomes and sustainability. Early results demonstrate that more developed villages with established commercial areas are well suited to adapt new technologies and support SWEs. More rural areas with higher dependence on free surface water for household water needs are slower to adapt. Further development of delivery, treatment and financing models of SWEs has the potential to bring potable water to remote populations.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the role of small water enterprises in delivering water to rural communities in developing countries.

Keywords: Water Quality, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student and was responsible for conducting the field work involved in this study. Below is my previous relevant public health experience: Project Field Manager, Safe Water Systems Project March 2005 to July 2007 Kabul, Afghanistan Collaborative project between Johns Hopkins University and the Ministry of Public Health, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Responsibilities included providing leadership in all aspects of field work on a two-year, million dollar international public health project; researching best practices in water, sanitation and hygiene education; developing and implementing household surveys on drinking water, hygiene and sanitation behaviors; negotiating contracts for staff and sub-contractors; supervision, training and evaluation of 50+ member field team; financial management of project resources; quality control of data collection and water quality evaluation; writing all progress reports and project presentations; conducting in-country outreach to national, provincial and local representatives; leadership of an advisory committee consisting of public and private representatives to ensure balanced approach to project implementation; senior staff member in the Johns Hopkins University Kabul office. Research Associate Sept 2002 to November 2004 Baltimore, MD Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Responsibilities included leading and evaluating graduate students in problem solving strategies in MPH core course; coordinating and developing lab instruction with senior faculty members; facilitating classroom discussion of policy development; evaluating presentations and papers for public health content, style and appropriate use of research findings; providing support and guidance to graduate students in public health research tools. Publications Opryszko MC, Majeed SW, Burnham G. (2007) Safe Water Systems Project final report. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Conway, M. (1985). Traditional Chinese Medicine in Modern China. The McGill Journal of East Asian Studies. 1(1):16-26. McGill University, Montreal. Presentations Opryszko M. Water Quality in Afghanistan. 62nd Annual Interstate Environmental Health Seminar. New Bern, NC. July 2008. Opryszko M. Using Your Public Health Education: A Study on Global Water and Disease in a Post-Conflict Situation. Lecture and LiveTalk for Current Issues in Public Health course. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore. March 2008. Schwab K, Opryszko M. Survey of Relevant Research on Community-based Water Solutions. Conference on Water and Health: Aligning Public, Private and Academic Partnerships for the Future of Drinking Water. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, October 2007. Baba D, Majeed SW, Opryszko M, Hansen P, Burnham G. Safe Water Systems Project in Wardak Province. Poster presentation, International Conference on Global Health, Washington, DC. May 2007. Opryszko M, Majeed SW. Safe Water Systems Project Results. Presentation to the Ministry of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and key stakeholders, Kabul Afghanistan. January 2007. Opryszko M. Safe Water Systems Project Implementation. Presentation to UNICEF, Kabul Afghanistan. November 2005. Opryszko M. Proposal to Extend the Safe Water Systems Project. Presentation to the Deputy Minister of Public Health and World Bank representatives, Kabul, Afghanistan, November 2005. Opryszko M. Safe Water Systems in Rural Afghanistan. Presentation to Chemonics International, Department of International Health, Washington, DC. September 2005. Opryszko M. Wasterwater Reuse for Recharging the Orange County California Groundwater Basin and the Potential for Drinking Water Contamination. Public Health Symposium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland. May 2004.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.