As part of the on-going work on the economics of water and sanitation, Water Sanitation and Health (WSH) of the World Health Organization (WHO) has published the reports of two workshops that were held in Khon Kaen (Thailand)  and Luang Prabang (Lao PDR)  in 2008 on the Practical Manual for Costing Improved Drinking-water Supply Systems for Low-income Communities. The Practical Manual, which is produced a collaborative effort between WSH and the University of Geneva, will become available later in 2009.
 Report of the first workshop on costing of improved drinking-water supply systems for low-income communities – Khon Kaen 3-6 March 2008 [pdf 1.16Mb]
 Report of the second workshop on costing of improved drinking-water supply systems for low-income communities – Luang Prabang, 2008 [pdf 640kb]
The report of the second workshop includes case studies on the costing of low-cost drinking water systems in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
More documents on Water, health and economics can be found on the WHO web site.
The development of the Practical Manual is a follow-up to WHO’s global economic analyses of investments in drinking-water and sanitation, and their returns. These indicate the returns to range from US$3 to US$34 for
each US$ invested. However, such global analyses are based on assumptions that introduce a broad range of uncertainty in the outcome. Therefore WHO wants to provide its Member States with the tools and know-how to carry out such analyses in the national context where levels of certainty can be enhanced.
From this perspective, it was decided to embark on a project that would combine pilot testing of the Practical Manual with capacity building in the area of costing, for a number of selected countries in the South East Asia and the Western Pacific Regions of WHO.