In spite of the importance of adequate water quality and quantity for human health and survival, public water supply coverage in Nigerian cities appears to be decreasing and deteriorating. Hence, this study was designed to assess the challenges of public water provision in Nigerian cities. Some of the reasons for this deterioration include: inadequate water supply policy, lack of autonomy for the various State Water Agencies (SWAs), corruption in the water sector, poor infrastructure investment and maintenance, deficiencies in pipe distribution networks and inadequate power supply. These challenges can be addressed if certain measures are taken to improve the operation, maintenance and sustainability of the various SWAs’ supply networks. Such measures may include the undertaking of routine and preventive maintenance such as leak detection and repair. There should be increased funding by government through adequate infrastructural investment, tackling of corruption and the granting of true autonomy to the SWAs in tariff setting, staff recruitment and discipline, and improvement of electricity supply to the various SWAs in Nigeria. These measures could place public water provision on a sustainable path and help to reduce the burden of water-borne diseases in Nigeria.

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