USAID's Commercialization of Afghanistan Water and Sanitation Activity (CAWSA) program was designed to develop a viable commercial business model for urban water and sanitation service delivery in Afghanistan. The project worked with local units of the Afghan Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Corporation (AUWSSC), the country's central authority on water supply and sewage, in the cities of Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif, Ghazni, and Gardez to assist with improving water supply management. Later during its implementation, USAID extended the project to focus on Kandahar and four satellite towns. In additions to AWSSC, the project worked closely with provincial water departments, and other donors to commercialize the urban water sector, increase cost recovery, and improve management.
At the beginning of its implementation, CAWSA assessed the local utilities to determine their baseline physical condition, financing, management capabilities, and other resources. Based on the initial assessments, the project deployed practical on-the-job training and technical assistance to meet local needs. The project provided much needed management training, including improving the accuracy and effectiveness of financial and administrative reports and procedures, and established key monitoring and evaluations methods and practices. These basic skills were supplemented with additional training on water utility management, basic water works operation, water testing and quality control, water distribution, and conservation programs.