To ensure that the survey was comprehensive, it was conducted over 28 of the 29 districts (leaving out Bangalore urban) in Karnataka covering 17,200 households across 86 talukas in 172 GPs. The population proportionate to size (PPS) technique was used to select representative, sample households and to ensure that data could be extrapolated over the entire state. Partnerships with 15 NGOs located across the state, who then conducted the survey, made it a broadly participative exercise.

Several methods were used to capture different facets of the WATSAN situation. Questionnaires at household, Gram Panchayat and village levels; water quality tests conducted at 10-40 sources per GP; and photographs to capture visual images (and to serve as a quality monitoring mechanism) were the key tools. Survey teams also drew village maps for each GP, highlighting water sources, open defecation areas, and other potential sources of contamination such as wastewater flows close to the water source. A total of 300 members of field staff in 42 teams of one supervisor and four team members completed the survey in 40 days. Quality monitoring mechanisms included supervisors scrutinizing 100% of household questionnaires; survey coordinators randomly checking 20% of the questionnaires; random telephone calls to surveyors & GPs; field visits, back checks and photographs. 

The outputs from the survey provide quantitative representation of user perceptions of services, information on status, quality, adequacy and efficiency of services, and likely solutions. They include a GP report especially created for each GP, a combined state and districts report intended for district- and state-level governments, research institutions, and advocacy organizations.