Rural Water Services: USAID Water and Development Technical Series


This brief is part of USAID 's Water and Development Technical Series, which provides guidance on important topics for developing and implementing water and sanitation activities in support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s plan under the strategy.

The purpose of this guidance note is to provide an overview of the important factors to consider when designing a rural water activity and information on the strengths and weaknesses of various possible service delivery models. It concludes with guidance for putting this into practice in the context of a USAID activity, to be used in conjunction with Agency guidance on programming.


  • Take into account that self-supply and community-based management generally fail to deliver sustained services without professionalized maintenance support.
  • Think beyond the community level – service authorities and national government play an important role in the sustained delivery of rural water services.
  • Design interventions to build capacity of community organizations, government, and other service providers for ongoing service delivery beyond first-time access to drinking water.
Technical Brief
Publication Date
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11 pages
Population Focus