WaterTime pilot in Uganda

This project focuses on innovation in the rural drinking water supply sector. The first component was a feasibility study (early 2017) about the professionalization of the water service provision, the establishment of competent Micro Water Service Providers and reductions in Unit Water Costs, in Uganda and Burkina Faso.

During a follow-up scoping study in Uganda, two local partners have been selected to pilot the WaterTime approach including:

  • Use of pre-payment and monitoring technology
  • Support to a service provider delivering different water services at a bigger scale
  • Introduction of low-cost and scalable higher water service levels to increase willingness to pay
  • Water system insurance scheme through the WaterTime franchise model


WaterTime aims to transform rural water provision into a viable local business that ensures post-construction maintenance and system expansion for sustainable and equitable access to safe water for millions. By piloting WaterTime in two different locations in Uganda, with different partners and management approaches, the aim of the pilot is to generate lessons on the social, political and financial viability of WaterTime in different geographical contexts.


  • Feasibility study including 1) Institutional analysis, with a focus on water governance rules and regulations, stakeholder mapping, existing practices and experiences with business development opportunities in the water supply sector; 2) Market Assessment of Prices and materials; 3) Calculations and design prototypes of modular water systems
  • Scoping study to identify suitable local partners
  • Field piloting of the WaterTime approach in two regions in Uganda


  • The feasibility study indicates Uganda as a suitable country to pilot modular building. In Burkina Faso, the concept appears to disagree with the centralised water supply arrangements that clearly standardises the way how piped water systems should be constructed and managed. This is in contrast with Uganda that envisions to expand piped water systems into rural areas by 2040 but has not yet mapped out an approach for realising this target.
  • Three low-cost and standardised solar powered water system modules have been designed.
  • If initial capital costs are financed by third parties,  revenues provide sufficient capital for the investment needed to expand to another tapstand in about 5-6 years.
  • Two local partners and pilot locations have been identified in Uganda.
  • The pilot will commence in August 2018.