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Title: Danger dirty water! : an assessment of the importance of information in improving water use hygiene
Authors: Jalan, Jyotsna
Somanthan, E.
Bellamy, Rufus
Date: 2005
Publisher: SANDEE, Kathmandu, NP
Series/Report no.: SANDEE policy brief / South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics; no. 8-05
Abstract: The improvement of drinking water quality is a key challenge across the developing world where millions die or fall ill due to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. The sad fact is that many of these deaths and illnesses could be avoided by improved infrastructure, increased public information, and better management of water services. But what is the best way to get people to drink safer water? // A recent SANDEE study examines this issue by asking whether better information can lead to safer drinking water practices. Will households who are informed about the quality of their drinking water take action to improve it? To answer this question, SANDEE researchers surveyed a randomly selected group of households from a Delhi suburb, and, tested the quality of water in their houses. They found that 61% of unpurified water tested ‘dirty,’ indicating the presence of fecal bacteria. Interestingly, alerting people to the fact that their water supply is contaminated is quite beneficial. Households that were initially not purifying their water, and were told that their drinking water was contaminated, were 11 percentage points more likely to begin some form of home purification than households that received no information.
Description: This policy brief is based on SANDEE working paper no. 8-04, "Importance of being informed : experimental evidence on the demand for environmental quality"
Project Number: 102580
Project Title: South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE)
Access: Open Access
Copyright: South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE)
License: OA Permission License
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