What can be done to prevent water project failure: STEEP Model

Many factors are needed to bring people clean drinking water. When one aspect is not considered or changes, the entire project can be put in jeopardy. One model that considers everything is called the STEEP model: Social, Technical, Economic, Environmental, and Political. By looking at every factor, we can gain a good understanding of the past and future of water development projects.

Social
What are the community needs? Do they want assistance? What are the major health issues? Where do they go to get water? How do they want us to help? Can we work together? Are they willing to learn about water technology and sanitation? Are there issues with open defecation?

Technical
What is the communities understanding of water technology? What type of filtration is necessary? Are there other projects in the area? Have they failed and why? 

Economic
Are we able to charge for water usage? How do most people make their income? Can this project create jobs? What other aspects of the community benefit from clean water?

Environmental
How long are the rainy seasons? Are the rainy seasons becoming shorter? What type of soil and bedrock is expected? Has a recent change in water quality occurred?

Political
Are there tribal conflicts in the community? Are their regulations and requirements we have to follow? Are their political issues locally and nationally? Will politicians use our project for political gain?