Easy and transparent water technology selection with WaterCompass


Making the right choices about water and sanitation technologies in developing contexts is of key importance when you want to be sure that your results remain in operation for a long while. This means taking into account the local context, quality, durability, availability, maintenance, and of course the affordability of the method you choose. The tool supports the decision-making process for all those confronted with (drinking) water technology choices in developing regions. The Water Compass was realized by Dutch WASH Alliance partners Practica Foundation and Akvo, with support from Aqua for All.


The WaterCompass is an online water technology selection tool that contains almost 70 water management methods applicable in asset-poor, developing region contexts. Grouped from source protection to household water treatment and storage, these methods comprise the current best practice in developing water sectors.

The tool supports more rational selection of water supply and treatment technologies. It is not designed to replace experts, but rather to share and discuss potential options in an objective and transparent fashion with other stakeholders. Together with the linked databases and assessment tools, it is expected to provide an accessible mini-compendium of water management technologies relevant in a development context. The WaterCompass is available through Akvopedia.

How does it work?
The innovative online tool can be used as a simple overview of technologies, and also as a more practical decision-support tool for selecting suitable water supply technologies for a real setting. To this end, the WaterCompass allows its users to choose relevant factors of the local context, such as intended use, preferred level of delivery (e.g. household, school or community), water source (ground, rain or surface water) or possible contamination. When clicking on the ‘apply options’ button, all suitable technologies will appear in green. By selecting the technologies of choice, you can build your own water management chain, which can be exported to a printable PDF document.

FIETS sustainability
In addition to a short description of each technology and its suitability and applicability, per method the tool contains multidisciplinary information on its sustainability features. To do so, Practica has used the five sustainability principles of FIETS: Financial, Institutional, Environmental, Technological and Social sustainability. By using this special feature of the tool, you can be sure that the technology or hardware needed for the WASH service can be maintained, repaired and replaced by local people, that it is not depleting the (natural) resources and that it is meeting the demands of the community.

Is there more?
In addition to the WaterCompass, WASTE and other Dutch WASH Alliance partners are also developing a Sanitation Decision-support Tool and Rain Foundation realized the Rainwater Decision-support Tool.