Providing clean water to rural communities: Cases from Mexico

University essay from Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet

Abstract: Despite the international efforts, clean water provision to all remains a task to be solved around the world. As this challenge accentuates in rural areas, this thesis contributes to the body of knowledge of clean water provision in to rural communities, focusing on seven cases from Guanajuato and Oaxaca in Mexico. The complex system set in place to guarantee the human right to access, safe, sufficient and acceptable water to everyone in Mexico is critically analyzed throughout the thesis. This research work uncovers many of the challenges deterring clean water provision in rural areas, including water scarcity, water contamination, poverty conditions, social conflict, weak capacities and lack of planning from local governments along with their unwillingness to act and at the same time looks at constructive practices. This thesis explores the existing literature on the subject, in order to outline and weight optimal conditions for ensuring sustained clean water provision systems, emphasizing in, community engagement, ideal government’s involvement, accurate assessment of local context and appropriate technical solutions. A qualitative examination takes place in selected case studies aiming to analyze the aforementioned conditions. For designing a practical solution, this research project included the arrangement for the donation of a water purification device (PAUL), in order to develop and assess the implementation of a technical solution (water purification) in to a rural community based on the lessons obtained during the research course.

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