The Global Water Initiative (GWI) was an action-research and advocacy programme that ran from 2008-17. The project is now closed. This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close. After that date, information about the project and core GWI technical publications will continue to be available from the IIED website and Publications Library.

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Making the right choice: comparing your rural water technology options

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In our quest to improve access to clean water, we engaged communities in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal, to help them discuss which technologies would work best for them. There are four options to consider for rural West African areas: two types of borehole and two types of hand-dug well.  We present the advantages and disadvantages of each option, to help communities make informed decisions about which hardware is most suitable for them. Designed for water sector practitioners who actively engage with communities, this document also provides clear and accessible diagrams to demonstrate the relevant technologies. Lists of pertinent questions provide facilitators with a basis to lead fruitful community-wide discussions.