Water supply systems that operate intermittently rather than continuously are highly complex. This arises from the interaction of large numbers of internal and external factors that produce major consequences for system operation and management. Handling these problems requires understanding, and to some extent eliminating, their causes. In this paper, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company, Zambia, is used as a case study that shows how poor governance, demographic and economic dynamics, hydrologic regime change, poor system management and operation, unplanned system extensions, limited skilled manpower, poor electricity supply and lack of customer awareness all contribute to sustaining intermittent water supply. Interdisciplinary approaches are recommended to explore interplays between governance, climate change and technical factors when developing solutions to intermittent supplies.

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