Multiple-Use Water Services Toward a Nutrition-Sensitive Approach

Multiple-Use Water Services Toward a Nutrition-Sensitive Approach

TitleMultiple-Use Water Services Toward a Nutrition-Sensitive Approach
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014

With emerging evidence suggesting that stunting cannot be addressed without also focusing on WASH, the SPRING (Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally) project wanted to better understand current WASH and water strategies that sought to bridge agriculture and health to reduce undernutrition at the community, farm, and household level. A key element of that review focused on MUS. Through document reviews and interviews with six key organizations implementing MUS, SPRING found several promising practices currently being assessed and undertaken by the surveyed organizations. SPRING believes MUS has the potential to contribute nutrition outcomes, as it provides two necessary components:

  • Opportunity for water to improve health through the provision of safe drinking water; and,
  • Availability of water for agricultural purposes, resulting in increased food production and agricultural income.

In addition, many MUS systems are community-managed, and can provide opportunities for community organization and women’s empowerment, an essential step toward improved nutrition.

SPRING also identified several areas that could be improved or expanded to make the MUS approach more nutrition-sensitive. It is clear that the potential impact of MUS on nutrition is recognized across most MUS activities, and each activity that SPRING features in this report did plan and program additional nutrition-sensitive or nutrition-specific interventions to support such outcomes. However, measurement was often inadequate to be able to determine the contribution that MUS made to these metrics. In order to take full advantage of MUS towards improving nutrition outcomes, additional nutrition-related programming and a commitment to measurement is necessary