To achieve this objective, Winrock International has pledged to convene a high-level group of private and public water sector leaders to agree on coordinated action to design and implement pro-poor community water service delivery and finance models.
Water supply systems are often used for many purposes other than intended. For example, irrigation systems often provide water for domestic purposes and small- and medium-scale enterprises. These 'unrecognized' uses contribute significantly to the quality of life and economies of poor communities, yet they are usually ignored in benefit-cost analyses used to determine water system investments. Failure to recognize unintended uses results in inefficient, inequitable and unsafe water management decisions, leading to underinvestment in community water supply systems. Unrecognized beneficiaries may be an 'untapped' source of financing for community water supply systems. Recent studies confirm that the poor are willing to pay for improved water service. Community financial commitments foster a sense of ownership and long-run financial solvency.
Winrock believes that emerging efforts to design, finance and pilot pro-poor community-managed water systems must achieve the following criteria:
1. Meet the multiple water use needs of poor communities in rural and peri-urban areas
2. overcome obstacles to private water capital investments by employing emerging community-sanctioned finance models
3. achieve cost-recovery for capital investments through pro-poor, market-driven mechanisms
4. utilize flexible and incremental approaches for service delivery; and
5. employ transparent, community-based governance models.