Rajasthan, India 2013. Women carrying water to their homes. Their labour comes at a real cost. In economic terms, the cost of the water is about USD 30 per 1000 litres by the time it is carried, filtered and boiled to make it safe to drink. That’s about 10 times the cost of water delivered to the kitchen tap in Australia.
Bottled water being delivered in Hyderabad, India in 2008. The cost is USD 100 – 150 per ton, or 30-50 times the cost of safe drinking water delivered to the tap in Australia.
Women carrying water at a refugee camp in Pakistan, 2011. While the water is distributed free, the real economic cost of the queuing and carrying time is around USD 30 per 1000 litres, much higher than in developed countries.
Piped water connections in Hyderabad, India in 2008. The pipes run from here to homes through open sewerage channels. It only takes one or two leaking joints to allow sewerage to seep into the pipes when there is no supply pressure: most of the time. The water pressure is on for about an hour or so every other day, in a rotating schedule.
School children in Islamabad urban fringe village 2002: water supply pipes run along the road to the village but water never came out. A new mobile phone tower can be seen: mobile phones have been a commercial success story, but water utilities continue to fail.
Water pump installation ceremony at Thanda Pani (Cool Water) school in 2002. Before the pump was installed, boys had to carry water in buckets for an hour every day just to use the toilets.
Karachi water cart. Householders have to queue and pay extra for same day deliveries. The water is pumped only to a below-ground tank.