Sustainable private water service delivery - TradeWater by Water Missions International



TradeWater is an innovative model for sustainable private water service delivery developed by Water Missions International (WMI), a non-profit and non-governmental organisation focused on providing safe water to people in developing countries and disaster areas. Since early 2012, WMI has pioneered the TradeWater model with 7 water projects in Uganda, and additional projects in Haiti and Malawi.

The TradeWater model was designed to transform and sustain water service delivery across rural and urban areas in developing countries. It builds on a distinct combination of innovative technology, a unique model for financial viability, and a strong organisational set-up to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of water supply projects. The technical solution includes WMI’s Living WaterTM Treatment System and Grundfos Lifelink water solution with solar driven pumps, water dispenser and water management system for revenue collection and remote monitoring of operations.


The Situation

In some conventional community-based water projects, local water committees struggle to keep water projects operational and meet desired water quality standards. The typical water committee is faced with a multitude of technical and financial challenges that are often insurmountable, leading to potential project failure. Establishing viable models for rural water supply by water service providers has so far been a challenge. Remote locations and manual solutions make it hard to operate and manage a professional water service operation from a distance.

With the TradeWater approach, WMI pioneers a new model for operating a low-cost, non-profit water service delivery in settings where community-based management isn’t viable, but where a sustainable private water-service operation can be established. By using the innovative technology of the Grundfos Lifelink solution, WMI is able to operate, manage and monitor the water service delivery in clusters of water projects.


The Solution

The project design in a TradeWater project is based on water supply from either groundwater or surface water, delivered by solar driven Grundfos pumps. WMI furthermore adds the Living WaterTM Treatment System to ensure the water quality is safe for drinking. The water is dispensed and revenue collected through Grundfos water dispensers, placed in the centre of the community or connected in a mini-grid of several water points from the same water source, bringing the water closer to each household.

As part of the TradeWater business model, WMI - in close collaboration with the communities - takes on the role of a long term committed non-profit water service operator and maintains the responsibility for all financial management and administration. A locally recruited ‘water agent’ is trained to be responsible for daily operations and customer service with ongoing support from WMI. Furthermore, additional community services and revenue streams have been added by introducing solar charging of mobile phones and solar lamps to the projects.


The Outcome

The TradeWater projects are providing reliable water supply access to 44,000 people in rural and peri-urban areas. The projects are creating new jobs in the community for the water agents and from additional income generating activities. Furthermore, the health situation has improved dramatically as well as the possibility of more children attending school.

Whatever is measured and monitored, can be managed. Data on water consumption and revenue from each water dispenser is key for WMI to monitor and manage the financial sustainability of each water project. Increasing the parameters of population size, water price, additional revenue streams, and scale of operation, will further strengthen the financial viability and scalability of the TradeWater model.

This is a ground breaking model for water supply to low-income communities that integrates innovative technology with long term community support and a viable business model for ongoing operations of water service delivery.

The goal of WMI is to establish a model with financial viability of private water service delivery to low-income communities across rural and urban areas, that is sustainable and scalable across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"Grundfos Lifelink technology has been installed in WMI projects in Uganda, Malawi and Haiti; with installations planned for several other countries. The functions of the Lifelink Water Unit provide the tools necessary to manage the business process and provide clear accountability. These tools are vital to ensuring the long-term sustainability of safe water supply projects." - George C. Greene IV, PE (COO / President of Water Missions International).


Private water service delivery for low-income communities in the developing world. TradeWater Grundfos Lifelink


Uganda, Malawi, Haiti


Water Missions International

Kikondo community

In 2013, the water projects of Water Missions International have provided a reliable water supply to approx. 44,000 people in rural and peri-urban areas in Uganda, Haiti and Malawi.



If you need a similar solution, please contact us for further information.


If you need a similar solution, please contact us for further information.