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Measure Water Access
by District

Updated version available winter 2021


This tool provides an estimate on rural basic water access, providing the percent of the rural population in each district in a given country living near a water point that provides water.

Illustrative Uses:

  • Allocating budget among districts
  • Identifying target districts for intervention
  • Evaluating Equity


  1. Click “OK” on the welcome message
  2. Select “Service Overview” from the choices at the top.
  3. Under “Country” type the name of the target country or the ISO Alpha 2 code.
  4. Select the access distance. This is the furthest people can be from a water point to be considered to have access. Note: WPDx recommends leaving the access distance at 1000m.
  5. Click “Execute”
  6. This tool may take 10-15 minutes to process. Note: This tool is not using significant amounts of data or bandwidth during this time. Instead, it is waiting for the server to complete the analysis.
  7. Once the tool has completed the analysis, it will show the administrative units of the target country in different shades. You can see a key to those shades by clicking on the button with the three lines.
  8. You can download the data by clicking the link under “Output CSV”


This tool begins by importing the latest available data from WPDx for the given district. Next, it imports high resolution population maps of the district from ESRI’s Living Atlas. This provides an estimate of the number of people living within every 250m x 250m grid square in the district. All urban areas (based on population density) are removed from the analysis. The tool then draws a circle around all functional water points with a radius equal to the access distance provided. The total population in all of these grid squares are added together. This total number of people with water access is divided by the total estimated rural population. The result is the percentage of rural population with access to a water point that is providing water.


This analysis is based on the latest available data, and population estimates from ESRI. Any water points that have been broken, rehabilitated, or constructed for which the data is not in WPDx have not been included in this analysis. Additionally, household connections are not captured in WPDx. Additionally, because urban populations are based on population density, there may be areas that are locally considered urban which are considered rural in this analysis, or inversely rural areas that are considered urban for this analysis.

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