Multi-Use Water Systems (MUS) is an approach to water service delivery that takes into consideration the needs of both WASH and agriculture activities. A MUS is designed to supply domestic water as well as water for productive uses, such as irrigating a garden or operating a small business. By providing reliable water access to communities or households, MUS can boost users’ resilience to shocks and stresses, improve food security, and support livelihoods and economic activities. But MUS can also present a more complex set of challenges than single-use water services, which are not always solved by standard approaches to WASH infrastructure.
MUS is already a part of many USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSA), and RFSA partners have shown continued interest in learning about ways to improve the operation and sustainability of these systems. In response, PRO-WASH is now collaborating with the SCALE Award to jointly initiate and fund research into one or more key issues in MUS, in collaboration with RFSA partners. The focus will be on applied research, ideally resulting in tools, guidance, or findings relevant to multiple BHA partners and active projects supporting food security and WASH activities.