The growth in urban populations has facilitated an increase in demand for urban water supply. This report examines the costs of construction for urban water supply in small/medium towns (population 10 000 to 40 000) in Africa, including costs per capita for water supply systems and unit costs of key water supply infrastructure items. The literature reviewed identifies three major factors influencing the costs of small town water systems: population density, types of technology and contract packaging. The capital costs of water supply infrastructure vary widely both on a per-capita basis for water supply systems and on a per-unit basis for specific infrastructure items. Examples of capital expenditure per capita for some water supply systems were found to vary by as much as 19-fold within a single country (for mechanised boreholes in Ghana), and unit costs of water supply system components varied by more than 4-fold (for boreholes with hand pumps in Ghana).
Eskandari Torbaghan, M. & Burrow, M.P.N. (2019). Evidence of small town urban water supply costs per capita and unit costs. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.