Rationale - what it means and why it is an important measure
This indicator measures the cost of water at times when it is the most scarce. It should be provided for all types of settlements at the city level, including informal settlements where relevant. The price of water can have major implications for a household's budget. In developing countries, women are often the first to be affected by the high prices of water vendors, since female-headed households constitute the majority of informal settlements.
How it is compiled, what data are needed
The median cost per hundred liters of water, at a time of year when water is the most expensive (USD$/100L).
To provide accessible and affordable water for all households.
Targets, benchmarks, reference values
No targets have been established.
References to examples of application
"The community as drinking water provider in a low-income area", Colombia: http://www.bestpractices.org/cgi-bin/bp98.cgi?cmd=detail&id=82
Other comments / background
In many cities, households living in informal settlements are not connected to the network and can only rely on water from vendors at up to 200 times the tap price. The price of water may rise to very high levels in some areas at some times, and can take a significant proportion of the household budget. If more than 50% of households have piped water, then this will be the user-pays marginal cost of water. How much an average household is spending in water varies tremendously from city to city.