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How much does it usually cost to provide clean drinking water for one person for a day/week?

I am currently working on a product to design a portable filtration system to provide people around the world with drink ...
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Hi Binaya, is the cost, including a water source like a piped supply and/or hand pump? So the portable filtration system would work with any local unprotected source?

Nicolas Dickinson gravatar imageNicolas Dickinson ( 2014-01-23 15:01:55 +0000 )edit

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To be able to calculate the real cost of providing a drinking water (or sanitation) service, you would need to know the life-cycle costs, i.e. what it costs to sustain a service over a longer period of time.

IRC's WASHCost project and the WASHCost calculator provide tools to calculate life-cycle costs. Based on research in India, Burkina Faso and Ghana, WASHCost has calculated a threshold of funds needed to be allocated per person per year as a necessary condition for sustainability. For a borehole and handpump water system, for example, the capital costs range from US$ 20-61 (2011 prices) per person. On top of that you need reserve US$ 3-6 per person per year to fund recurrent costs. These recurrent costs cover expenditure for operational and minor maintenance, capital maintenance and direct support. Similar figures are available for different types of piped schemes - see

For more detailed analysis you can try out the WASHCost Calculator Beta -

Visit the WASHCost website for more background documents on life-cycle costs and service delivery ladders:

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Maybe just to clarify, the 3 - 6 include direct support and other costs that you would not want to use in your comparison. Also the current version of the WASHCost Calculator does not yet do detailed analysis. This is only the advocacy tool.

Nicolas Dickinson gravatar imageNicolas Dickinson ( 2014-01-23 15:00:24 +0000 )edit
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