Water Compass

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Watercompass logo.png

The WaterCompass is a novel (drinking) water technology selection tool. This decision-support software contains almost seventy water management methods applicable in asset-poor, developing region contexts. Grouped from source protection to household water treatment and storage, these methods comprise the current best practice in developing water sectors.



  • A simple overview of technologies.
  • A decision-support tool for the selection of suitable water supply technologies for a real setting.
  • Short multidisciplinary information (FIETS) on suitability and sustainability.
  • A tooltip with the definition appears if you move your mouse over the italic word.
  • A criteria panel on the left allows the user to specify the relevant factors for his or her situation.
Watercompass tool.png

How to use the WaterCompass in 3 steps

  • Choose your preferred technical criteria (leaving some blank is okay)
  • Assemble a chain of technologies
  • Document your results

To get started, fill in the screening criteria (or at least the factors that you have information about). If you select more options within one criterion, the results will be combined. When clicking on ‘Apply options’, suitable technologies will appear in green, methods with only limited suitability will appear in orange, and methods that are likely not relevant in the context you have indicated appear in red. By clicking on one of the orange or red technologies, the key reasons for the unsuitability will appear in a pop-up summary.

You can build a complete water management chain by selecting individual technologies, which will then appear in an assembly box at the top. When you are ready, you can click 'Continue with selected technologies' which will take you to a page where you create a PDF document of your results.

If you leave the Water source screening option empty, the tool will select suitable results from different possible water sources. This will give you an idea on which water source may be the most relevant in the given project or catchment area.

Philosophy of the WaterCompass

A key objective of this tool is to aid a more rational selection of water supply and treatment technologies. The automated selection based on researched suitability factors will help you plan or discuss your options in an objective and transparent fashion. The tool is not designed to replace experts, but rather to rationalize their initial selection process, and to easily share the potential options with other (possibly non-expert) stakeholders. For focus group discussions or other multi-stakeholder events, the offline (paper) version of the tool is advised. If applied with caution, this tool can be a useful aid in the planning of resilient water options. In stakeholder interactions it may contribute to a more participative attitude in the planning. Together with the linked databases and assessment tools, it is expected to provide an accessible mini-compendium of water management technologies relevant in a development context.