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Solar power for community water supply

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by Mark Bannister
It is generally accepted that solar technology (photovoltaics) is by now a well proven and mature technology, however the field of community water supplies can hardly be described as a “controlled environment”. The institutional, socio-economic circumstances vary from community to community and raise such detractions as: • the relative ease with which solar panels can be stolen for use in other energy-driven processes • high capital costs • high risk with regards vandalism or damage • uncertainty as to the sustainability of solar systems. Since 1996 The Mvula Trust have successfully implemented six projects within South Africa where it is still fairly much a novelty. These projects have been treated as a collective programme to evaluate the use of solar pumping as a sustainable alternative form of energy under specific niche conditions. The results obtained suggest that these issues can be addressed successfully if the recipient community is in full support of a project. The aim of this paper is to describe the projects undertaken by Mvula Trust and the methodology, research and experiences used, and to address those issues of ‘doubt’ which are common to many other countries.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


BANNISTER, M., 2000. Solar power for community water supply. IN: Pickford, J. (ed). Water, sanitation and hygiene - Challenges of the Millennium: Proceedings of the 26th WEDC International Conference, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 5-9 November 2000, pp.311-314.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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