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Document Document

10 Innovative Approaches to Improve the Urban WA-S-H Sector in India

The goal of the IHUWASH project is to improve performance of the urban WASH sector in the country through agglomeration, incubation, and accleration of innovations to address WASH issues. The first stage of this process, agglomeration refers to compiling the existing key innovations which have significantly influenced the WASH sector, ideally from across the globe. Nevertheless, to sensitize local stakeholders, innovations which have significantly improved the WASH sector in India are documented in this booklet. To do this, innovations which have gained popularity in the past decade, and which have also improved living conditions of the urban poor were examined, before documenting them in brief. A set of criteria were used prior to selection of the innovation.

Criteria To Select Innovations

  1. Served to address fundamental requirement of Water, Sanitation or Hygiene aspect
  2. Addressed specific issue
  3. Added value in terms of quality of life, opportunity cost, safety and security
  4. Conserved resources (e.g. water, energy, cost)
  5. Delivered quality services
  6. Are sustainable in terms of life cycle cost, business model and livelihood opportunity


  • Technology: Innovations that improved the treatment of water as well as wastewater.
  • Livelihood opportunity: Implementation allowed the urban poor to engage themselves in activities that improved livelihood opportunities.
  • Community engagement: Innovations that developed community ownership of WASH projects.
  • Resoure conservation: Innovations that conserved water resources and encouraged use of wastewater.
  • Construction technology: Innovations that improved the shelf life of products used in WASH projects.

Innovations documented in this booklet are at different stages since they were first introduced. Some have still not been accepted widely and are in the initial (incubation) stage. Some are pilots that have been tested in different parts of India and have gained some momentum, while others have been scaled up, but are not yet recognised, particularly, by the government for inclusion in existing policies and programs of relevant ministries.

Objectives of documentation

The main purpose of documenting innovations in the WASH sector is to sensitize important stakheolders in the three participant cities– Faridabad, Mysuru and Udaipur. The innovations are expected to encourage potential stakeholders to adopt, either these innovations or introduce similar innovations to improve WASH performance in their cities. Apart from this, understanding ongoing innovations would enable the IHUWASH team to appreciate factors that determine, both, success as well as failure. The documentation will be used as an example in workshops, lecture series, etc. to stimulate discussions on various thematic areas among stakeholders.