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<Sourcebook of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augumentation in Africa>

2. DOMESTIC WATER SUPPLY

Technologies for the augmentation of domestic water supply systems are varied, starting with simple ones at the household level and ranging to more complex ones at the municipal level. Despite the existence of these technologies, access to domestic water supplies remains a problem for a majority of communities in Africa. The major reasons for this situation are the scarcity of water sources which can be attributed to a number of factors including population and industrial growth, increased agricultural activity, the destruction of catchment areas, the deterioration of the socio-economic and political environment, and changes in global climatic conditions, among others. All these factors have created a situation of water limitation. As a remedy to this situation, there is need to maximize the efficiency of use of existing freshwater resources, and to augment existing supplies, by using appropriate, cost effective and environmentally-friendly technologies. These technologies are classified in the broad categories of water harvesting, water quality upgrading, water conservation and water recycling and reuse.

Water conveyance technologies have not been covered in detail as these are not considered as technologies for freshwater augmentation, but, rather, they are a necessary component in the transfer of water from areas of water abundance to areas of water shortage. Hand pumps, and, indeed, other pumping systems, are regarded as water conveyance systems and, therefore, are not discussed in detail. However, some unique, traditionally African methods of water conveyance are mentioned in this section.

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