Solar Pumping

Solar-powered water systems offer safe water and hope for communities across the world and, more often than not, are a favored approach for Water Mission. In addition to being beneficial for the environment (especially when compared to systems powered by generators), solar-powered pumps are sustainable for the communities that operate them. With over 1,200 solar-powered systems installed, Water Mission has experienced a very low failure rate. We have also seen a reduction of overall lifecycle costs when compared to drilled boreholes fitted with hand pumps that are designed for equivalent service areas and lifespans. Learn more about our solar-powered pumping research.

Advantages of Solar-Power Pumping

When compared with alternative power sources – including hand pumps, an electrical grid connection, or generator power – solar power is the best overall choice in many situations. A majority of the advantages of solar-power water pumping fall into the following four categories:

Economic Advantages

Serve more people.

Higher flow and head capacity than hand pumps means that solar pumping can serve more people in less time significantly reducing queuing times.

Social Advantages

Treat, store, and distribute water.

Water can be treated and stored in elevated tanks which means that water can be provided where end users are able to access it easily.


Technical Advantages

Provide high levels of service in remote areas.

Solar pumps can operate in remote off-grid areas without access to electrical grid power. Additionally, solar pumps provide quantity, accessibility, and reliability that’s equal to (if not greater than) traditional AC powered pumps.

Environmental Advantages

Minimize operation & maintenance costs.

Very little capital maintenance is required and most solar pumps continue to function for 10+ years. Plus, solar-powered systems are not difficult to operate and training only takes a few weeks.

Download a printable PDF of solar-powered water pumping advantages.   DOWNLOAD PDF

Where Are Solar-Power Water Systems Most Effective?

Solar-powered water systems are traditionally associated with rural towns, but continued advances in the technology mean that these systems can operate effectively in an ever-increasing variety of climates and locales. Learn more about our solar-powered pumping research. From Water Mission’s years of experience in installing and maintaining solar-powered water systems, we’ve found they display their advantages to the fullest in the following environments:

Water Mission team with Pokhari community | Nepal Earthquake

Small Towns

Leadership of Kulim community with Indonesia Country Director Jan Daniel

Trading Centers

Burundian refugees at Nyarugusu Refugee Camp

Refugee & IDP Camps

Our approach to solar-power pumping.  

Learn more about the research we’re doing on solar-powered pumping solutions. Or for more information, contact Sean McSwain, Project Manager – Partnership Support, at