Water is rapidly becoming a scarce resource in almost all countries and cities with growing population on the one hand, and fast growing economies, commercial and developmental activities on the other. This scarcity makes water both a social and an economic good. Its users range from poor households with basic needs to agriculturists, farmers, industries and from commercial undertakings with their needs for economic activity to rich households for their higher standard of living. For all these uses, the water supply projects (WSPs) and water resources development programs are being proposed for extension and augmentation; likewise with the rehabilitation of water supply for which measures for subsequent sustainability are being adopted.
This Handbook is written for non-economists (planners, engineers, financial analysts, sociologists) involved in the planning, preparation, implementation, and management of WSPs, including: staff of government agencies and water utilities; consultants and staff of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and staff of national and international financing institutions. Since the Handbook focuses on the application of principles and methods of economic analysis to WSPs, it is also a practical guide that can be used by economists in the economic analysis of WSPs.