Core Members


Core partners pledge their own resources to help the MUS Group to organise meetings and to help to facilitate other collaborative group activities. These include development of pilot programmes, production of joint publications and contribution of articles to the group website.

Each core partner pledges to attend at least one group meeting each year. There are generally two meetings per year, and these are usually held in the Netherlands or the UK although this may change and electronic participation is usually possible too.

Core partners also commit to disseminating the work of the group within their own organisation and networks.



CINARA is a specialist water and sanitation resource centre at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. Over the past few years, CINARA have been working with communities in rural areas around Cali where domestic water systems are also vital in supplying water for livestock and small-scale cultivation.


Catholic Relief Services was established in 1943 by the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States to help war-torn Europe and its refugees recover. Today, more than 70 years later, CRS’ mission continues to focus on the poor overseas, using the gospel of Jesus Christ as our mandate. CRS continually seeks to help those most in need, providing assistance on the basis of need, without regard to race, creed or nationality. Water development, especially community-based water supply and sanitation, has been an essential component of CRS programs for more than fifty years.  The CRS water sector aligns with the three strategic priority areas of the organization: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for health and well-being, water for agricultural productivity, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for emergency response.

Excellent Development

Excellent Development is an international NGO founded in 2002 that supports rural dryland communities to work their way out of poverty with dignity. We do this in 2 ways:

  • By working with local partners, we support rural communities to gain access to clean water close to their homes and to invest in climate-smart agriculture.
  • By pioneering sand dams, we promote and support the application of sand dams by key stakeholders in the world’s drylands for the benefit of the world’s poor.

Our work supports the multiple use of water: for people, crops, livestock and the environment. 

Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems Promotion Trust (FMIST)

FMIST is a trust representing farmers of different disciplines which was formed and registered under the Association Act of Nepal in 1988. It takes care of advocacy, promotional and conservation of values of farmer managed irrigation systems (FMIS) in Nepal.

The specific objectives of the Trust are:

  • To recognize one FMIS periodically for its best practice in a specified field that helps in sustainable organization, management and technology of irrigated agricultural system;
  • To provide the officials of these FMIS exposure and orientation to the irrigated agricultural system development and management practices;
  • To widely disseminate the basic features of the award winning FMIS;
  • To conduct and encourage FMIS related research that directly helps to promote a knowledge-base on FMIS through research support grant (RSG); and
  • To provide a networking forum for national and international dialogue on FMIS.

Food and Agriculture Organization

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its Water Development and Management Unit (NRLW) is engaged in a programmatic approach to agricultural water management addressing water use efficiency and productivity, and best practices for water use and conservation, throughout the continuum from water sources to final uses. Specific targets are integrated water resources management, water harvesting, groundwater, use of non-conventional water, modernization of irrigation systems, on-farm water management, water-quality management, agriculture-wetlands interactions, drought impact mitigation, institutional capacities, national water strategies and policies, river basin and transboundary waters management.


IDE fully recognises the considerable cash and non-cash benefit that easy access to irrigation and clean domestic water provides to a household and is working to position MUS as a replacement for existing systems that are typically designed, managed, and financed for a single use. Supply safe water for both domestic and irrigation use reduces the labour, particularly of women, required for water collection, improves sanitation and hygiene for participating households and betters water allocation with consequent increased income. iDE’s systems are co-developed and designed with the local communities, and centred around their needs, and often integrated with micro-irrigation technologies (MITs) to increase water efficiency and household income. Currently iDE’s country programmes with initiatives around MUS include: Nepal, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso (small ongoing program), and Zambia. In Nepal, over the last 15 years iDE has developed around 250 MUS serving about 50,000 people in 30 of Nepal’s 75 Districts. To date most of the MUS systems are gravity-fed, with some lift MUS using Solar PV and Hydram for remote communities above their water sources. In Mozambique the systems are centred on low-cost manual well drilling, opening an affordable opportunity for households to place a manually operated pump at their homestead, and solar pumps to meet both irrigation and domestic needs. In Ethiopia and Zambia iDE has been investigating the household’s water needs and review the feasibility of adding access to the irrigation water for domestic use. Along with low cost drip irrigation systems for vegetable production, IDE has been identifying, developing and adapting other new low-cost techniques that can be used for multiple use water systems – whether new ways of sinking wells, appropriate pumps (treadle, rope and washer etc.), and water storage (bags and tanks).

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) is a scientific, technical and voluntary, not-for-profit, non-governmental international organization. ICID is dedicated to enhancing the worldwide supply of food and fibre for all people by improving water and land management and the productivity of irrigated and drained lands through appropriate management of water, the environment and application of irrigation, drainage and flood management techniques. Starting with 11 founding member countries in 1950, more than 100 countries have so far joined ICID. The Mission of ICID, is to stimulate and promote the development and application of the arts, sciences and techniques of engineering, agriculture, economics, ecological and social sciences in managing water and land resources for irrigation, drainage and floods, including research and development and capacity building for achieving sustainable irrigated agriculture. Membership of the Commission consists of countries which are normally represented by National Committees (NC) and Direct Members (DM) comprising of individuals, companies and institutions. Professionals, individuals and officers of government or of institutions - government and non-government - and companies are appointed by NCs and DMs to participate in ICID activities.

International Fund for Agricultural Development

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The Conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples' access to financial services, markets, technology, land, water and other natural resources.

International Water Management Institute

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. It is headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with regional offices across Asia and Africa. IWMI works in partnership with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop scalable agricultural water management solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health. IWMI is a member of the CGIAR System Organization, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). IWMI’s Mission is to provide evidence-based solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for food security, people’s livelihoods and the environment.


IRC, based in The Hague, the Netherlands takes a leading role in the development of the MUS Group. It is a knowledge-focused NGO with a clear vision and a mission of providing universal access to sustainable WASH services. IRC works with a worldwide network of partner organisations in order to achieve equitable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. IRC currently holds the secretariat of the MUS Group. 

Overseas Development Institute

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is Britain's leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Their mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. The have a separate Water Policy Programme (WPP).

Plan International

PLAN International are a child-focused international NGO involved in implementation of water and sanitation supply projects within a broad programme of development interventions. Since 2003, the Eastern and Southern African Region have promoted a multiple uses of water approach to link water interventions to livelihoods, health and food security programming within PLAN.

Pump Aid

Pump Aid tackles poverty by working with local communities to establish sustainable supplies of clean water for improved health and increased agricultural production.


RAIN, as a brand of Aidenviroment, is an international network with the aim to increase access to water for vulnerable sections of society in developing countries - women and children in particular - by collecting and storing rainwater. Started in December 2003, RAIN focuses on field implementation of small-scale rainwater harvesting projects, capacity building of local organisations and knowledge exchange on rainwater harvesting on a global scale.

Stockholm Environment Institute

SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute) is an independent, international research institute specializing in sustainable development and environment issues. Working at local, national, regional and global policy levels, its mission is to support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge that bridges science and policy. SEI’s Water Resources and Sanitation Programme has conducted research in the area of multiple uses of domestic water.


USAID is one of the donor agencies that has been pioneering MUS in various programmes and approaches. USAID’s Water Strategy 2013-2018 encourages the analysis of sectoral programs to identify opportunities to integrate, and MUS is one of the most promising ways to operationalize this integration. The Horn of Africa and the Sahel food crises have also caused units within the agency, both in DC and in the field, to explore ways to work across multiple objectives, with livelihoods, food security and health as equally important focus areas, and MUS has been targeted as a promising approach. MUS has been incorporated into key internal training events for USAID headquarters and field staff. USAID is particularly interested in expanding knowledge and application of “irrigation +” models of MUS that take advantage of increased funding in the agriculture sector and can also provide potable water. USAID has ongoing MUS projects in the Sahel and Horn regions of Africa, as well as in Nepal.


WaterAid is an international non-governmental organisation working in 26 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, South America and the Pacific. Our mission is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. We work together with local partner organisations and governments to bring about long term, lasting change.


The Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University in the UK is one of the world's leading institutions concerned with education, training, research, and consultancy relating to the planning, provision, and management of infrastructure for development. WEDC is devoted to activities that improve the health and well-being of people living in both rural areas and urban communities.

Winrock International

Winrock is a recognized global leader in Multiple-use Water Services implementation, research and advocacy. Winrock has been implementing MUS since 2002 with programs in Nepal, Niger, India, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Mali. In 2007, Winrock, in collaboration with IRC and IWMI, conducted a systematic global scoping study on the investment potential of MUS for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which examined the costs, benefits, poverty impacts and potential markets for MUS in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (MUS Study). Winrock’s highly innovative and effective MUS work has been recognized by USAID and the US State Department. In 2010, Winrock’s MUS work won the Interaction/IFAD Innovation award (MUS BPI Award). In 2011, Winrock won the Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Kitchen award for their capacity to nurture innovation. Beyond implementation and research activities, Winrock has also been on the forefront of MUS advocacy and policy.