QUICK GUIDE

The availability of water at the right time, at the right volume and at the right price is an essential underpinning of economic growth and development. Here’s a look at how best to read the case studies presented on the site.

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Sectors: Each sector is identified by its respective icon. Because water flows are circular by nature, the sectoral divisions are really only a means to categorizing an otherwise open ended system of precipitation, extraction, consumption, and management. The same water is many times used and reused across agricultural, industrial and municipal lines. You can find many more details about the sectors, including analysis on emerging themes, on pages 17 to 19 in the catalogue.

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Water stress levels: The case studies’ water stress levels are identified by six possible colors ranging from light gray (arid to low water use), beige (low water use, >10%), yellow (low to medium water use, 10-20%), orange (medium to high water use, 20-40%), red (high water use, 40-80%), to dark red (extremely high water use, >80%). We did also reserve dark gray to identify project cases for geographic areas where we didn’t have enough information to define the stress level.

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Interventions: Each case study is unique, and so context couldn’t be any more important than it is in the intervention categories used. In each case study we’re giving you a quick look at the complexity of the project’s approach by identifying anywhere between the 1 and 6 interventions used (there are 15 in total). Again, these aren’t meant to illustrate a project’s success, but rather the kind of multi-level approach used to manage the scarce water resource in that area or basin as identified by the relevant people and agencies there. There’s more. Each expanded project card shows you intervention features giving you even more detail about the specifics of that intervention (e.g. low flow toilets), which you can search for by keyword. An illustrative map of the interventions as they relate to the case studies can be found on page 16 of the catalogue.

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Water Scarcity Impact: Each case study produces a set of identifiable impacts on water scarcity. This is essentially the one illustration used throughout to showcase how effective a project may have been along two main mechanisms. You’ll notice details are shown in (1) cubic meters per year (based on data and critical analysis) and (2) the various components of water resource management that influence scarcity. The second is further broken down into five specific indicators – withdrawal, consumption, quality, productivity, and basin impact –  each of which is thoroughly explained on pages 12 and 13 of the downloadable catalogue. In reading this graphic, remember that a lower volumetric impact and fewer (or grayer) dots can still signify a successful project; it really all depends on type of intervention used and the specific water needs of that area.