The Dhaka Water Services Turnaround | Asian Development Bank

The Dhaka Water Services Turnaround

Publication | December 2017
The Dhaka Water Services Turnaround

This publication features an ADB project that turned around an urban water utility in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and offers a good example for other similar utilities in South Asia.

ADB’s investment program in the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) provided a breakthrough in approaching urban development, particularly the delivery of clean, reliable, affordable water and to the poor, no less. And not just a breakthrough for Dhaka or the rest of Bangladesh, but for the region of South Asia. This publication looks at the key success factors that other utilities are taking note of: The zonal approach to rehabilitating and managing urban water services, trenchless technology for expeditiously laying pipes, and how to connect the urban poor—and keeping them connected—through community-managed approaches.


  • The Dhaka Turnaround Story
  • A City, A Utility in Water Crisis
  • Sector Turnaround
  • Turning Points
  • System Turnaround
  • District Metered Areas: The Momentum for DWASA’s Turnaround
  • How Trenchless Technology Became the Status Quo
  • Connecting the Poor: A Game-Changer for DWASA
  • Service Turnaround
  • New Vision, Mission
  • Training a Pro-People Workforce
  • Financial Performance over Politics
  • Transparency and Customer Relations
  • DWASA Breaks Ground with Self-Initiated Gender Strategy
  • NGOs Fill Unique Role, Make Distinct Contribution as Communicators
  • Future Turnaround