The paper provides a case study of rural water supply in Fayoum. First, the present state-of-affairs is described and analyzed with respect to production, consumption and coverage. A water balance is drawn up and the projected trends up to the year 2000 are indicated. Nearly full coverage has been achieved already but still more than 50% of the population is served by public standposts. Considerable demand for house connections is apparent. Based on the present trend it is expected that by the year 2000, 75% of the population could be served by private connections, provided sufficient production capacity becomes available.

Secondly, the focus is on organization and finance with special attention to cost recovery. Estimates for present billing efficiency and the Unaccounted For Water (UFW) percentages are provided. With the perceived trend in the growth of house connections and decline of public taps there is ample potential to reduce UFW, provided an efficient billing and fee collection system is introduced and leakage is controlled. With the reduction of UFW by “technical” measures half of the cost recovery target can be achieved. The other half has to come from tariff increases.

Experience is drawn from the Netherlands-supported Fayoum Drinking Water and Sanitation Project (FADWS) which started in 1990.

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