Strengthening the W in WASH: community based water resource management for water security

This briefing paper describes the early experiences of a community-based water resources management (CBWRM) initiative carried out by WaterAid in Burkina Faso. Water supply services established as part of WASH programmes in Sudano Sahelian countries like Burkina Faso are frequently used for both domestic and livelihood purposes. The water resources upon which these services depend are subject to pressures and threats which change over time, making livelihoods and wellbeing vulnerable to shocks. An approach piloted in three rural communities has enabled villagers to monitor changing water availability in their environment, helping to inform collective action they take to mitigate pressures threatening their water resources. Working with local government authorities, the communities have been able to make well informed decisions to safeguard access for both domestic and productive usage, helping to ensure water supply systems deliver lasting benefits. The hydrological information they gather can compliment and support national water security plans.