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This document gives detailed guidance on all technical topics pertinent to the design and installation of solar powered water systems within the rural water supply context. The motivation for this document is to provide guidance that is based upon internationally recognized technical standards and to provide instruction for fulfilling those standards.

The technical basis for this guidance document is the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) International Standard 62253, Photovoltaic pumping systems – Design qualification and performance measurements.

Additional materials and instruction will be forthcoming, including example Terms of Reference documents and guidance, example Bill of Quantities examples and guidance, advanced design examples, and case studies from various regions of the world.

Please note, the Spanish and French versions of this document are now available for download as well.

Author Information


This guidance document is authored by Water Mission – Engineering & Innovation Department, Charleston, South Carolina, USA (, as part of a programme cooperation agreement with UNICEF WASH Headquarters Programme Division and is the product of discussion and extensive review by UNICEF Programme Division, Supply Division, Regional Advisors, and country WASH teams.

Special thanks is extended to the following organizations for reviewing and providing valuable insight on the content of this document: Global Solar Water Initiative, IOM, Oxfam, Practica Foundation, University of Texas at Austin.

The Spanish and French translated versions of this guidance document were made possible through the generosity and support of the Global Water Center and Global Solar Water Initiative.

Year Published: 2020

Publisher: UNICEF and Water Mission

Global Water Center Information

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