It is an understatement to say that water system managers working in rural and remote communities across the globe face substantial challenges. Not only do they need to maintain safe public infrastructure, they are also facing emerging challenges like adapting to climate change and keeping informed on regulations, best practices and international innovation. They do all of this with modest revenues and technical capacity. If rural communities are expected to address such daunting future challenges, they will need help assessing their opportunities, risks and prioritizing new directions.
The Global Water Institute has identified the following three core concepts as the dominant barriers to adoption of innovative solutions in rural and remote communities:
With limited research capabilities and scarce resources/funding, rural and remote community managers struggle to participate in regular training or technology conferences, resulting in diminished insight into useful water sector advancements.
Technology validation can be immensely complex. Limited research resources and support can leave rural and remote water managers uninformed and feeling reluctant to embrace innovative solutions, for fear of inadvertently becoming an ‘experimental’ community.
Rural and remote technology providers must become intimately aware of site-specific technical, fInancial, environmental and even cultural factors, and will also need to consider availability of technical staff resources and often limited long-term maintenance budgets.
In the coming year, the Rural and Remote Water Alliance will begin to offer an exciting range of events and services that will seek to address critical challenges within the global rural and remote water sector – return to this page or contact us to be notified as things develop!