Urban water supply can be managed by public institutions, private companies, communities, or by combinations thereof. Controversy continues over which system can most effectively improve livelihoods. Responding to this discussion, an extended model of sustainable livelihoods analysis is proposed that takes on a holistic approach: it includes issues of economic viability as well as the consequences for the vulnerability of poor people and the sustainability of water-related ecosystems. This model can be used to analyse the impact of water provision on livelihoods and to leverage policies to create a more sustainable water provision. It is applied to the city of Semarang in Indonesia that, as many coastal cities in low income countries, suffers from vicious cycles of poverty and problematic water supply.

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