Page 1: Surface Water Management in Humanitarian Contexts Guidance

We are really pleased to be able to share our final draft guidance for Surface Water Management in Humanitarian Contexts.

Please click here to download the guidance

Please complete this survey to provide feedback on the guidance and register your interest for further engagement and dissemination opportunities, thank you.

If you have any general queries, please contact us on

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What is the challenge?

Inadequate surface water management affects many refugee and IDP camps worldwide and is linked to health issues (including vector borne diseases), poor access and unpleasant conditions for communities that are often damaging to wellbeing and mental health. At present, there is very little comprehensive guidance for practitioners in these settings to help tackle these issues.

Following an initial scoping phase in 2017, we developed guidance for field practitioners to support the implementation of surface water management in humanitarian contexts, focusing on internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee camps (see link above). We are looking to further develop this by disseminating and testing the guidance further. 

Who are we?

We are a team of partners, including Arup, CIRIA, Oxfam, WEDC, Illman Young and EPG. Our project is supported by Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) programme.


Guidance - includes the policies, processes and practices of surface water management, including developing advice on appropriate measures that can be taken to address current problems.

Surface Water - any water on or just under the ground surface, flowing or static, resulting from local rainfall or split potable water generated at water distribution points.

Humanitarian Context - focus on the settlement of displaced people (e.g. refugee and IDP camps), rather than existing settlements.