The USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS) and USAID Lowland WASH Activity, in partnership with the Ethiopian government at various administrative levels, hypothesized that innovations in monitoring and asset management in Afar would improve borehole functionality and therefore water security in this arid, lowland region. The innovations include the installation of satellite and cellular-connected sensors for monitoring all mechanized boreholes in Afar.
This paper explores the rural water supply context in Afar and the establishment and operationalization of the Afar sensor monitoring network, including preliminary data analysis on uptime and downtime indicators for water service delivery derived from sensor reports. The sensors are a key measurement for project impact to understand whether providing the Afar Region Water, Irrigation, and Energy Bureau with near real-time data from instrumented boreholes, in conjunction with training and capacity-building activities, resulting in improved water service delivery, measured primarily via functionality. A companion paper explores uptake and use of the asset management system as a whole.