COVID-19 and Water Utilities - Water Currents, July 9, 2020

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COVID-19 and Water Utilities - Water Currents, July 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Below is an excerpt from the latest Water Currents issue and the complete text is on the Globalwaters.org website:

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a financial crisis for water utilities as many of these service providers face drastic cuts in revenue and rising costs due to the pandemic. One report in this issue states that a survey by the Water Service Providers Association of Kenya found revenue collection down by 70 percent among its members.Water and finance experts are concerned that, if not addressed, the consequences of utility deficits will reverberate long after the virus subsides.

Inadequate utility revenue and national financial distress could jeopardize the advances in drinking water access that have been made in recent years.This issue contains recent studies, reports, blog posts, and webinars that discuss water utilities and COVID-19 on a global, regional, and country basis.

Overviews
USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Strategic Approach to COVID-19 ResponseUSAID, April 2020. This document provides a comprehensive overview of USAID's strategic approaches to WASH within the context of COVID-19 across health, emergency, and longer term recovery programming.

Utilities in Developing Countries, in Financial Tailspin, Try to Keep Water Flowing During Pandemic and BeyondNew Security Beat, June 2020. The global coronavirus pandemic is precipitating a financial crisis for water utilities in low- and middle-income countries as many of these service providers face drastic cuts in revenue and rising costs to respond to the public health emergency.

Supporting Water Utilities During COVID-19World Bank, June 2020. This blog post links to reports and tools which discuss challenges faced by water utilities during the pandemic.

COVID-19: A Utility Leaders’ ResponseInternational Water Association (IWA), May 2020. This online discussion brings together water utility leaders to share their perspectives, experiences, and response to COVID-19 challenges, the lessons being learned in adapting to a changing situation, and the main messages they are communicating to their customers.

The Unsung Heroes of the COVID-19 PandemicWaterAid, June 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention across the world to the vital roles of key workers such as those employed in health care and sanitation. This article highlights the daily dangers sanitation workers, who are often doing their jobs with minimal protective equipment, faced prior to the coronavirus and how the pandemic has exacerbated these working conditions.

What Water and Sanitation Operators Can Do in the Fight Against COVID-19Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA), March 2020. Water and sanitation service providers (small-scale providers, utilities, and local authorities) can be instrumental in stalling the advance of COVID-19. Public utilities should work closely with local health officials and other relevant bodies to launch awareness campaigns about COVID-19 transmission.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Considerations for the Waste and Wastewater Services SectorCase Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, May 2020. This article discusses the potential ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on waste and wastewater services, focusing on critical points where alternative operating procedures or additional mitigation measures may be advisable.

COVID-19 Emergency Response: Monitoring and Mitigating the Secondary Impacts of the COVID-19 Epidemic on WASH Services Availability and AccessUNICEF, March 2020. Countries will experience secondary impacts on WASH services in different ways, depending on the underlying strength of their economy and social services, the type of measures taken to contain the virus, and the duration of the crisis. This brief describes those potential secondary impacts and suggests monitoring and mitigation strategies.

Utilities Under Crisis: Moving from a ‘Just in Time’ to a ‘Just in Case’ Scenario Will Require Partnership and SolidarityGWOPA, June 2020. While some water and sanitation operators have been able to rapidly mobilize resources, draw on expertise, and respond effectively to crises, most have faced challenges keeping staff safe, maintaining service quality, and ensuring services for vulnerable communities.

Read the complete issue .
Dan Campbell
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
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