Making rights real: A Sponsored Seminar at the 7th RWSN Forum, Abidjan

What difference does it make if water and sanitation are human rights?

Have you ever wondered how to integrate the human rights to water and sanitation into your work?

As more countries integrate human rights to water and sanitation into national systems this is an opportunity to explore what difference it can make to water service providers and users.

The human rights framework clearly assigns responsibilities: Governments are duty bound to realise the human rights to water and sanitation and people have the rights to water and sanitation services. So what does that mean in practical terms for government, especially local government officials who are closest to people? How can the human rights actually help local government officials to reach everyone, even where they have very limited resources and capacities?

Why should I come to this seminar?

The seminar is designed to answer many of the most frequently asked questions about the human rights to water and sanitation.

It will provide an introduction to the contents of the human rights to water and sanitation, and the practical implications for the design and delivery of services on the ground.

There will be an opportunity to hear experiences from different countries about ways in which service providers, governments and water users have been able to use human rights to make a difference.

Discussions will focus on how different stakeholders can use human rights to focus efforts on reaching the most marginalised, and how the rights can help to create a more enabling environment for everyone involved in rural water supply.
The seminar will consist of a mixture of informative presentations, sharing practical experience from different countries, and group discussions about the issues that arise.
We will also be sharing new materials that show how human rights can be relevant and useful for members of the Rural Water Supply Network. These materials have been developed by the RWSN in collaboration with WaterAid, WASH United, Institute for Sustainable Futures, End Water Poverty, and UNICEF, with funding provided by Players of the Peoples Postcode Lottery

Who is running the seminar?

The seminar will be facilitated by Louisa Gosling and Ellen Greggio (WaterAid), and Angie Saleh (Unicef).

Where and when?

Room Goh Djinoua – Friday, 9am to 1pm

Tips for Groundwater Success: A Sponsored Seminar at the 7th RWSN Forum, Abidjan

Are you involved in groundwater development for rural water services? Come along to this one day seminar to learn more about how to develop groundwater for safe and sustainable water supplies. We will be discussing many aspects of groundwater development, from data and information that can help us understand groundwater resources, to technologies in borehole construction and solar pumping for the delivery of effective water supplies.

Why should I come to this seminar?

This one day seminar – An Understandable Approach to the Development and Use of Groundwater – aims to take some of the mystery out of groundwater development and provide useful, practical information to help you develop effective groundwater supplies.

Groundwater makes up almost 30% of the world’s freshwater reserves, and more than 95% of the available, unfrozen fresh water. Given its broad geographical distribution, general good quality, and resilience to seasonal fluctuations (as compared to surface water), groundwater holds the promise to ensure many communities an affordable, safe and sustainable water supply.

Groundwater is sometimes referred to as a hidden asset – it occurs underground therefore can’t be easily seen or visualised, and is often difficult to understand due to the many varying factors influencing its behaviour, from geology, topography, and climate to land use, soil type and human activities.

What will I learn?

To develop groundwater in a safe and sustainable way we need to understand it. And to understand groundwater we need good data and information, which is often hard to find. The first half of the seminar will seek to answer the questions:

What data and information is needed to understand groundwater and develop it sustainably?

How can we effectively collect and store groundwater data to produce a high quality body of information that is accessible, convenient, affordable, manageable and useful for current and future groundwater development projects?

We will look at data at different scales – from international initiatives down to local, site-scale data – but will be focussing at the country-scale with an introduction to the Africa Groundwater Atlas and case studies of national groundwater data collection and storage from West Africa. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss some of the issues they have experienced with all aspects of groundwater data (collection, storage, management and use) and we will try to offer practical solutions for the future.

The second half of the seminar will focus on practical groundwater development, demonstrating how proper borehole construction, and solar pumping and distribution solutions can provide safe and accessible water that is cost-effective and sustainable for those most in need.

We will seek to show how borehole construction and maintenance can help protect groundwater sources, providing a drinking water supply that is free of e-coli and will last for generations. Participants will also receive tools and guidance for writing borehole specifications to help ensure that groundwater sources are safe and sustainable.

From borehole construction we will then move on to solar pumping and distribution technology, demonstrating that this is often a viable and smart option for potable water services in rural development, particularly where poor groundwater quality or high population density and growth limit the applicability of boreholes fitted with hand pumps. We will show several case studies, from single point supplies to full distribution networks, which highlight low failure rates and overall life-cycle costs, and discuss the key considerations for designing, constructing and implementing solar powered water supply systems.

Who should come to the seminar?

 The seminar is aimed at anyone with an interest in rural water services, and in particular groundwater resources and water supply. We hope to include a range of professionals from all types of organizations and at all levels – from government staff, NGOs, private sector practitioners and academia.

 Who is running the seminar?

The seminar is being sponsored by the UPGro research programme (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) and Water Mission and will be run by a range of groundwater experts from across Africa, Europe and the USA.

Fabio Fussi (University Milano Bicocca)
Richard Carter (Richard Carter & Associates Ltd.)
Moustapha Diene (Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar & AGW-Net)
Callist Tindimugaya (Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda & AGW-Net)
Brighid O Dochartaigh & Kirsty Upton (British Geological Survey)
Steve Schneider (Schneider Water Services & NGWA)
Jeff Zapor & Doug Lawson (Water Mission)

Where and When?

Friday 2nd December, 7th RWSN Forum (Bamako Room), Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire,

Please note the seminar will be run predominantly in English with simultaneous translation into French

, however there will be Francophone and Anglophone facilitators present throughout the day.