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Reflect & act - July 2011, Research reveals the immense significance of ‘invisible’ water to the urban poor:
This briefing reflects on an International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) project on water resource management carried out between 2009-10. It showcases research revealing the immense significance of ‘invisible’ water to the urban poor. The briefing describes the project which explored the extent to which urban dwellers in low-income settlements depend directly or indirectly on groundwater. The project found that the lack of awareness of the importance of wells to poor urban dwellers in many Asian and African countries, together with an absence of baseline data, prevents water managers from seeing the whole picture as they try to safeguard groundwater resources. It stresses that governments and water experts need a detailed understanding of urban communities’ reliance on groundwater, and especially how this affects the most vulnerable, concluding that governments should also work closely with communities not to stop the spread of wells but to make them safer and improve hygiene practices.
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