Access to Drinking Water

Global Cluster indicator, Outcome indicator, Output indicator, SDG indicator

Indicator Phrasing

number or % of households using drinking water from a safe source
nombre ou % de ménages utilisant de l'eau potable provenant d'une source sûre
počet nebo % domácností používajících pitnou vodu z bezpečného zdroje

Indicator Phrasing

English: number or % of households using drinking water from a safe source

French: nombre ou % de ménages utilisant de l'eau potable provenant d'une source sûre

Czech: počet nebo % domácností používajících pitnou vodu z bezpečného zdroje

What is its purpose?

Waterborne diseases are leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children. The indicator therefore assesses the water sources local households' use, especially the proportion of households using drinking water from safe sources.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of the main household members responsible for water collection:

 

RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)

Q1: What is your household's main source of drinking water during this season?

A1:

1) tube well or borehole 

2) protected shallow well 

3) harvested rainwater 

4) piped water/public tap 

5) protected spring 

6) surface water source (river, stream, pond, puddles, unprotected spring) 

7) unprotected/ open shallow well 8) other: ................................

NOTE: Only options 1 – 5 count as “safe water sources”.

 

Q2: Is water from this source usually accessible every day?

A2: yes/ no

  

Q3: What is your household's main source of drinking water during [specify the season]?

A3: same as A1, just add one more option: 9) same as in ..... season

  

Q4Is water from this source usually accessible every day?

A4: yes/ no

     

   

Calculate the indicator's value by dividing the number of households using drinking water from a safe source (in all seasons, at all times) by the total number of respondents and multiply the result by 100. 

Important Comments

1) The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) use a different version of this indicator: "% of population using safely managed drinking water services". The results of this indicator are disaggregated into five categories: 

  - % of population using safely managed drinking water services (drinking water from an improved water source which is located on premises, available when needed and free of faecal and priority contamination)

  - % of population using basic drinking water services (drinking water from an improved source provided collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a roundtrip including queuing)

  - % of population using limited drinking water services (drinking water from an improved source where collection time exceeds over 30 minutes for a roundtrip to collect water, including queuing)

  - % of population using unimproved drinking water services (drinking water from an unprotected dug well or unprotected spring)

  - % of population using surface water (drinking water directly from a river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal or irrigation channel)

For details, see WHO/UNICEF's publication below. 

 

2) In some regions, water sources are prone to significant seasonal differences (e.g. dry/rainy season). Therefore, your assessment must collect data separately for each of the main seasons. At the same time, the baseline and endline data must be collected in the same period of a year; otherwise it is very likely that they will not be comparable.

  

3) People might use more than one source of drinking water. If this topic is important to your project, add a question asking "Is there any additional source of drinking water used by your household? If so, which one?"

  

4) Always be very clear on what kind of water you are asking about - water for drinking can have a different source from water for washing.

 

5) Ensure that the data collectors are able to differentiate between the different types of water sources (based on an interview only).

 

6) USAID/OFDA uses a similar version of this indicator: "number of households collecting all water for drinking, cooking and hygiene from improved water sources". See USAID/OFDA's guidance on this indicator.

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