People Served Daily

Here’s a simple way to provide a count of the “Number of People the Project Is Expected to Actually Serve Daily:”  Imagine an auditor arrives at your  water project site 1-6 months after its completion, at a point in time when everyone in the area is aware of it and the base of people using it daily as their source of clean water has settled into its long-term pattern.  At that point, what is your best estimate of how many people will have clean water in their daily lives now sourced by your water project?  If the mother of a family of six gets their water, and a daughter from a family of four gets their water, and an elderly man with only a wife at home gets their water from your water project, that is 6 + 4+ 2 = 12 people getting their regular clean water from your water project.

There are typically two main factors affecting this estimation of number of people to be served daily by the new water project:

  1. Number of people in the service area
  2. Capacity of the water project

Factor #1 takes into account how many people have access to your water project.  People typically will not walk further than 8km (5 mi) daily to collect clean water.  So this factor is affected mainly by peoples’ distance to the well or water point.  But also, if there are other sources of clean water in the area, like other water points, then those sources will reduce the number of people who will come to your water point regularly since some people would have other, more convenient options.  NOTE:  In the case of a rotational facility served by a water project, like a hospital where patients rotate throughout the year, do NOT count the total number of people to be served by the hospital throughout the year, but instead count the average number of patients and their family members on a single day, and also include the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who will be served daily by the water project within the year.

Factor #2 is the simple daily maximum water capacity of the water project itself.  Per WHO standards, a simple hand pump on a borehole well will top out around 1,000 people served from that well daily (with WHO-recommended 5 gallons per day per person).  However, partners have proven to us that in “survival mode,” where people are only taking a couple gallons drinking water per day, and the line for water runs efficiently all day long, a simple hand pump well can serve up to 2,000 people daily.  We would agree that when faced with dying of thirst or getting by with barely minimal water rations, people will get by on the latter.

We consider the following to be reasonable maximum water project people capacities:

Simple Hand Pump Well: 2,000

High Capacity Electric Pump -or- Capped Spring (whether or not buffered by storage tanks:)  2,000 people per tap, typically up to 5 taps

High Capacity Filtration and Distribution System (drawing from local stream or river, large lake or pond:)  Like U.S. municipal systems, these can scale into tens of thousands of people served per system.  And they are typically more expensive per person served and are rare in third world countries as the first source of clean water.

To summarize, we expect you to consider all of these factors and consider an auditor counting the number of people using your new water project after it’s in full operation and giving us an accurate count of the “Number of People the Project Is Expected to Actually Serve Daily.