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Safe Water Strategy

In the terminology of IRC's WASHCost project - www.washcost.info - rehabilitation is linked to Capital maintenance expenditure (CapManEx), which is defined as:

Meets the costs of renewing (replacing, rehabilitating, refurbishing, restoring) assets to ensure that services continue at the same level of performance that was first delivered. Examples include replacing a motor on a power pump or the pump rods/rising main/handle in a handpump; cleaning/re-excavating the base of a hand-dug well; relaying the drainage field for a septic tank; flushing a borehole which no longer delivers the desired flow; cleaning a water tank, etc. The renewal of these assets, often after some years of operation, ensures the same level of service that users received when the asset was first installed. Planning for CapManEx is crucial to the sustainability of WASH services. (IRC Glossary, https://sites.google.com/a/irc.nl/irc-glossary/glossary-terms/capital-maintenance-expenditure-capmanex)

Timely replacement of pumps can save a lot of money. The WASHCost life-cycle costs brochure - http://www.washcost.info/page/1552 - notes that "it is clearly more cost effective to replace a US$ 500 handpump every five to ten years, than to wait for it to fail and then develop a new US$ 10,000 borehole. Yet around the world, failed handpumps are systematically replaced by entirely new boreholes".

Based on research in 4 countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique, India), WASHCost found that Capital maintenance expenditure (CapManEx) for boreholes with handpumps ranged from US$ 1.50 - 2.00 per person per year (WASHCost infosheet 1 - http://www.washcost.info/page/2386)

Repair or service maintenance are linked to Operating and minor maintenance expenditure (OpEx), which WASHCost defines as:

Recurrent, regular and ongoing expenditure on labour, fuel, chemicals, materials, or purchases of bulk water. Minor maintenance is routine maintenance needed to keep systems running at design performance, but does not include major repairs or renewals. Sometimes the distinction between OpEx and Capital Maintenance Expenditure (CapManEx) is less than clear. OpEx also includes ‘household coping costs’ by which households spend money to achieve a satisfactory level of service; i.e. cleaning products for sanitary facilities, energy costs, etc. (IRC Glossary, https://sites.google.com/a/irc.nl/irc-glossary/glossary-terms/operating-and-minor-maintenance-expenditure-opex)

WASHCost found that Operating and minor maintenance expenditure (OpEx) for boreholes with handpumps ranged from US$ 0.50 - 1.00 per person per year (WASHCost infosheet 1 - http://www.washcost.info/page/2386)

Answer adapted on 18 January 2012 from a reply originally posted by Dick de Jong (IRC, retired) on 29 April 2011