Clean Water and Sanitation

Distributional Statistics of Municipal Water Use During Cape Town’s Drought: Implications for Affordability, Conservation and Tariff Design 20-23

Submitted by Eugenia Leon on 7 July 2020

We calculate the first distributional statistics for municipal water supply deliveries using 14.9 million monthly billing records for a half-million households in Cape Town, South Africa, from 2014-2018. These years span a historic drought and a multi-faceted package of conservation programs that achieved a 50% city-wide drop in consumption. We find that the top 10% of households consumed 31% of water deliveries before the drought, with the Gini coefficient

Conservation, Water

Watering Down Environmental Regulation in China

Submitted by Hang Yin on 1 July 2020
EfD Authors:

This paper estimates the effect of environmental regulation on firm productivity using a spatial regression discontinuity design implicit in China’s water quality monitoring system. Because water quality readings are important for political evaluations, and the monitoring stations only capture emissions from their upstream regions, local government officials are incentivized to enforce tighter environmental standards on firms immediately upstream of a monitoring station, rather  than  those  immediately  downstream.


COVID-19 and Handwashing: Implications for Water Use in Sub-Saharan Africa 20-18

Submitted by Samuel Wakuma on 18 June 2020

Because the main modes of transmission of the COVID-19 virus are respiration and contact, WHO recommends frequent washing of hands with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds. This article investigates how the level of concern about COVID-19 affects the likelihood of washing hands frequently in sub-Saharan Africa. The study makes use of a unique survey dataset from 12 sub-Saharan African countries collected in April 2020 (first round) and May 2020 (second round) and employs an extended ordered probit model with an endogenous covariate.

Health, Water

The Impact of Forest and Non-Forest Land Cover on Potable Water Treatment Costs

Submitted by Eugenia Leon on 18 May 2020

Access to clean water is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be achieved by 2030, and a priority on the environmental policy agenda in Ethiopia. A main challenge for clean water supply utilities is how to accommodate watershed protection and management costs. The type of land cover around water sources has a notable effect on the cleanliness of the water and hence on water purifying costs.

Forestry, Water

A Decision Support Tool for Rural Water Supply Planning 20-06

Submitted by Eugenia Leon on 13 May 2020
EfD Authors:

Over a dozen studies have examined how households who travel to collect water (about one quarter of humanity) make choices about where and how much to collect. There is little evidence, however, that these studies have informed rural water supply planning in anything but a qualitative way. In this note, we describe a new web-based decision support tool that planners or community members can

Policy Design, Water

Any Rain on Victoria Lake Is Only a Drop in the Bucket: A CGE Analysis of the Effects of Water Shortages on Food Security in Uganda

Submitted by Jane Anyango on 7 May 2020
EfD Authors:

Using a dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model of Uganda, we simulate the effects of water shortages and their impact on agricultural production and the broader Ugandan economy. It is expected that Ugandan crop production will be hit hard over the next forty years by increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation associated with climate change. We use forecasts from the literature for ten specific crop outputs to simulate the effects of weather-related agricultural disruption on the rest of the economy.

Agriculture, Climate Change, Water

Encouraging urban households to segregate the waste they generate: Insights from a field experiment in Delhi, India

Submitted by Vidisha Chowdhury on 6 May 2020
EfD Authors:

Despite the Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016 stating that waste generators should segregate their waste before it is collected; most households in Delhi continue to be non-compliant. We conduct a study in 15 localities of Delhi to understand whether information, norms and economic incentive would have an effect on households’ compliance to rules. The study uses field experiments to elicit the impact of the interventions.