Sustaining Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Systems: An Example from Bangladesh
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)- funded Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) Nobo Jatra (New Beginning), implemented by World Vision in southwest Bangladesh, installed ten reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plants in areas where groundwater salinity, seawater incursion, and other factors were preventing communities from accessing safe and reliable domestic water supplies. RO technology requires relatively complex arrangements for operations and maintenance (O&M) to ensure continuous and reliable supplies. Nobo Jatra was able to achieve high levels of reliability and community satisfaction through a combination of innovative measures that addressed the technological, financial, and management aspects of RO plant operation. As a result, all ten RO plants continue to function, providing communities with safe drinking water all year round.