While lack of access to consistent safe drinking water is estimated to affect nearly 2 billion people worldwide, many of the efforts to solve this crisis have proven to be unsustainable. This paper discusses some of the reasons for these challenges and suggests interdisciplinary practices that could be integrated from the very beginning of a water intervention to achieve long-term success. Of key importance for sustainable water implementation is an enabling environment that incorporates aspects such as funding, potential for market development, and supportive governance. While this enabling environment is acknowledged, the focus of this work is on the integration of three key areas: (i) social and cultural assessment of behavior and preferences; (ii) market-based implementation approaches that draw on this knowledge; and (iii) technology development for these markets.

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