Promoting the Multiple Use water Services approach at local and global scales

IWMI introduced ‘multiple-use water services’ (and coined its widely used abbreviation of ‘mus’) as an innovative approach to use water for poverty alleviation and gender equity in rural and peri-urban areas (MTP9, 2007-2009; Output 2). As lead institution of the first global comparative study on implementing and upscaling mus under the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF), IWMI and partners compiled over 100 national and international outputs, including IWMI Research Report 98 (Annex 1). Pro-active debates on these outputs in district- and national-level workshops in Bolivia, Colombia, India, Nepal, South Africa, Ethiopia, Thailand and Zimbabwe led to several outcomes, tracked by the project team (see also .)

A key outcome in Ethiopia was adoption of ‘mus’ by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as its “core strategy” for promoting integrated water resource management (Annex 2a), and partnership with IWMI has led to the spread of mus “across CRS regions and country programmes” (Annex 2b).

In South Africa ‘mus’ was adopted in the local government Integrated Development Plan for Bushbuckridge Ward 16; national guidelines for municipalities on ‘P rovision of water for small-scale multiple use systems’ Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF); the Water for Growth and Development initiative; and research on ‘mus’ initiated by the Water Research Commission. Influence on DWAF’s national guidelines is supported by explicit reference to IWMI in the Guidelines (Annex 3, p.1).

Other country-level outcomes include:

  • (Bolivia) ‘Mus’ central in the new WaterResourceCenter, Cochabamba
  • (Colombia) More participatory rural water supply for multiple uses by the parastatal PAAR; follow-up research by Cinara, Universidad del Valle, Cali funded
  • (Nepal) ‘Mus’ included as authorized activity in Fund Allocation Guidelines of Ministry for Local Development; ‘mus’ promoted by Department of Irrigation; national dialogue on ‘mus’ among ministries of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Finance, Women, Children and Welfare, Local Development and Irrigation
  • (Zimbabwe) ‘Mus’ promoted in a draft water services Bill
  • (Thailand) Homestead ‘mus’ water provision promoted by the Farmer Wisdom Network and in the new national water law

Also due to IWMI and partners’ presentations in global forums, strategic global players acknowledge ‘mus’ as a “form of Integrated Water Resources Management, at the level of the household or the community”, which is “a highly appropriate and cost-effective way to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals” (p.36, Synthesis World Water Forum 4, Annex 6).

IFAD has also ‘endorse[d] and promote[d] the mus approach to focus on multiple water use requirements that address women’s concerns better than single use irrigation projects’ (Annex 4).

Other examples of ‘Mus’ uptake:

  • A research topic by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (led by Winrock with IWMI as partner)
  • A specific theme of the CPWF 2nd phase
  • A session at ICID symposium Sacramento USA 2007
  • A special issue of Irrigation and Drainage for publication in 2008

A topic session in World Water Forum 5  led by ICID and FAO (Annex 5)