This chapter considers water supply as a service that undergoes a continuous life-cycle that ensures uninterrupted water supply to people. It discusses the history of community management, as the main way through which that service is managed in the context of rural water supply in low and middle-income countries. The chapter discusses what constitutes a good rural water service with a focus on the effectiveness, sustainability and replicability of rural water supply, and shows how community management impacts on these factors. It presents an overview of the history of community management, making links with the broader movement of participatory development. The discussion at the start of the chapter on the poor service delivery makes it necessary to further define what makes a water supply good or poor. That is an important conceptual discussion in order to assess whether community management leads to effective and equitable service delivery.