About the Mapper

Water Point Mapping is a process for monitoring the distribution and status of water points in rural and urban areas. It supports local level planning and can improve accountability for water sector performance at local and national levels. Water Point Mapping can be used to highlight the following:

Examples of maps generated

District level coverage (including functionality) map
Village level coverage map
Functionality map
Acceptable access distance map
Water source type map
Revenue collection map
Water quality map
Service sustainability issues: displaying non-functional/semi-functional water sources as well as areas where cost recovery and technical backup support is lacking

Equity and transparency: displaying the distribution of improved water supply services so that inequalities in service levels may be identified

Access levels: displaying the distance that communities must travel to the nearest improved water source

Financing needs: locating areas where investments in water supply services are required and quantifying those investments

Planning needs: identifying water source types and areas where improved sources are required

Water quality: high risk contaminants can be mapped

Monitoring and evaluation trends: displaying project and programme performance data

The Water Point Mapper is a monitoring tool which supports the production of maps highlighting all of the above information without the need for complex GIS software or internet connectivity. Based on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, it instantly converts water point data into Google Earth compatible maps. Google Earth can be run locally in the field on a machine completely offline. The maps can be saved as images which can be easily shared.

Benefits of the Water Point Mapper
  • It requires minimal training
  • It is free
  • It is user-friendly
  • It can generate a wide variety of different maps that can be used by local staff
  • It can display photographs of mapped water points
  • It can be configured to work in different countries
  • It works with shape data as well as point data
  • It is compatible with other national and international level mapping tools
  • It is compatable with PDA or paper form based data collection

The Mapper is intended to offer a quick way to get up to speed with the process of Water Point Mapping and sector performance monitoring. It is aimed at water, sanitation, hygiene practitioners and local government staff working at district, sub-district and village levels. The Mapper can be used with very minimal training to generate powerful water point maps. Local staff can perform analyses that would have formerly involved complex software, training and financial resources. The tools can be used when establishing low-cost data updating mechanisms which can feed into national level water point inventories.

This tool was developed by WaterAid and is based on Water Point Mapping experiences from WaterAid country programmes particularly in Southern and East Africa regions.

If you experience any bugs or errors, or have any advice for future improvements to the Water Point Mapper, please email us at waterpointmapper@wateraid.org