IWA Publishing

Coping with poor water supplies: empirical evidence from Kathmandu, Nepal

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The authors examined the demand for clean drinking water using treatment behaviors in Kathmandu, Nepal. Water supply is inadequate, unreliable and low quality. Households engage in several strategies to cope with the unreliable and poor quality of water supplies. Some of the major coping strategies are hauling, storing, and point-of-use treatment. Boiling, filtering, and use of Uro-guard are some of the major treatment methods. Using Water Survey of Kathmandu, the authors estimated the effect of wealth, education, information, gender, caste/ethnicity and opinion about water quality on drinking water treatment behaviors. The results show that people tend to increase boiling and then filtering instead of only one method if they are wealthier. In addition, people boil and then filter instead of boiling only and filtering only if they think that water delivered to the tap is dirty. Exposure to information has the strongest effect in general for the selection of all available treatment modes.

Keywords: averting behavior, drinking water supply, Kathmandu, treatment

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