A number of rural household-based productive activities, such as kitchen gardens, livestock rearing and micro enterprises, are dependent on adequate supplies of domestic water to operate. This paper examines whether improved access to piped water can facilitate these types of activities, particularly for poor households. Using data from rural Vietnam, we find that most household enterprises use non-metered water and have very small profit margins. Thus, the evidence suggests that these enterprises may be better supported by a household-level water supply infrastructure, such as well pumps and rainwater catchment tanks, rather than by piped systems in rural areas. We also found an unanticipated link between operating small-scale food production businesses and raising livestock: for many households, waste products from food-based micro enterprises were used for rearing pigs, and this enabled business owners to expand their pork production, a significant source of income and prosperity in rural Vietnam.