Community-Level Resource Development and Management, Part 1: A Transferable Approach to the Analysis of Community Water Distribution System Expansion

  • Megan McWalter Richardson Oregon State University
  • Kendra V. Sharp Oregon State University
Keywords: Catchment system, Pipe network, Water, Water distribution, Tanzania


Access to water is extremely important in schools around the world, where students spend most of their day. As schools expand, particularly in areas with limited water resources, it is necessary to develop and manage water resources to ensure their sustainability. In this article we describe a method of analyzing water piping distribution networks using an open-source software package that allows practitioners to model the increased demands on water distribution systems associated with school growth. The methodology was then applied to the case study of a community-level water distribution system in rural Tanzania. This method is valuable because it is both condensed and easy to follow for those in the field with or without technical backgrounds. Minimal tools are needed for practitioners to develop their own system models (only a GPS, tape measurer, bucket, stopwatch and access to a computer with the software downloaded). Overall, this condensed written resource is more accessible than others available to many practitioners and thus improves the ease of modeling for pre-planning and analysis of expansion or other water distribution system modifications.

Author Biography

Megan McWalter Richardson, Oregon State University
Master's Student in Mechanical Engineering.


Garmin Ltd. (2016) Garmin GPSMAP 64 Owner’s Manual. Olathe. Available at:

Izoplas (2018) 2m3 Plastic Water Tank, Izoplas. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2018).

Masuda, K. and Yamauchi, C. (2016) The Effects of Universal Fee-Free Secondary Education Program on Students’ Access, Composition, and Achievement: Evidence from Uganda. Tokyo.

Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (2012) National Strategic Plan for School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SWASH) 2012-2017. Dar es Salaam. Available at:

Munson, B. R. . et al. (2013) Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics. Seventh Ed. Edited by J. Welter. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Murray, R. (2008) ‘EPANET’. Cincinnati: United States Environmental Protection Agency. Available at:

Peace Corps (2018) Resource Library, PCLive. Available at: (Accessed: 21 May 2018).

Report, G. (2016) Can Africa afford free education?, World Education Blog. Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2018).

Rossman, L. A. (2000) EPANET 2: users manual, National Risk Management Research Laboratory. Cincinnati. doi: 10.1177/0306312708089715.

Zhu, J. (2015) Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, United Nations Department of Public Information. Available at: (Accessed: 30 April 2018).