Water Quality and Willingness to Pay for Safe Drinking Water in Tala Upazila in a Coastal District of Bangladesh
This study, conducted in Tala Upazila (with > 0.3 million people) situated in a coastal district of Bangladesh, endeavors to identify the water quality situation and to assess people’s willingness to pay for safe drinking water; with a view to develop policies and programs to improve people’s access to safe and affordable drinking water in the coastal area. A total of 4500 households were surveyed for getting relevant information on willingness to pay of households, while water quality test was performed at 649 high dependent drinking water sources (basically tubewells) for identifying arsenic, salinity and iron concentration. Arsenic test results revealed that overall 36.5% of tested drinking water sources; 63% shallow tubewells and 14% deep tubewells were unsafe due to the presence of high levels of arsenic beyond Bangladesh standard. Electrical conductivity, which is a measure of salinity was very high in about 94% of the tested water sources; while 61% of tested sources had iron concentration higher than the Bangladesh standard. It is evident from the study that people are aware of these problems and on an average, 91% of the households were willing to pay for improving access to safe drinking water. Regardless of economic class, most of the households (75%) were willing to pay BDT 20.0 (0.25 USD) per week for 20 L safe water per day, which is equivalent to 2–6% of their respective monthly income to access safe drinking water. Logistic regression model identified monthly household income, tubewell ownership, distance of drinking water source, etc., as some determinants of households’ willingness to pay for safe drinking water. Encouraging peoples who are currently drinking arsenic-contaminated tubewell water to shift their sources to nearby arsenic free tubewells may be a cost-effective solution to this problem. Engaging community-based WatSan committee (a local committee comprising the user communities for supervising water and sanitation related activities) including local government representatives to design an affordable water tariff structure and generating sufficient revenue to cover the cost of water services in the community would be an effective and sustainable solution to improve access of safe and affordable drinking water in the coastal area of Bangladesh.
KeywordsDrinking water Arsenic Salinity Willingness to pay
The paper is based on research funded in part by DFID through Strategic Partnership Assistance (SPA) through the BRAC WASH program. We are grateful to participants who provided valuable information for this study. Thanks to WASH program personnel for their contribution during field work. Thanks to the Data Management Unit of RED for providing necessary support for cleaning the data in time. Thanks also to the Center for Water, Environment and Health Research and Development, Social Innovation and Development Foundation for their support during the study.
NCD: conceived and conducted the study; analyzed and interpreted the data and wrote the paper. MP: analyzed and interpreted the data, and assisted in report writing. RS: conducted household level survey, assisted in data analysis and GIS mapping. MRI: data analysis and interpretation of data. TA: questionnaire development, training to enumerators, and data collection. MR: coordinated in data collection and reviewed manuscript. MKB: field management during household level survey. AI: field management during household level survey.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- Ahmed F, Ahmad N, Khan MA, Jolliffe D, Mahbub MA, Sharif I, Yoshida N, Zaidi S, Swaroop V, Zutt J (2010) Poverty maps of Bangladesh 2010: key findings. World Bank Group, Washington, DC. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2010/01/20191359/poverty-maps-bangladesh-2010-key-findings
- Asim S, Lohano HD, Ahmad I (2015) Households’ willingness to pay for improved tap water services in Karachi, Pakistan/comments. Pak Dev Rev 54(4):507Google Scholar
- Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) (2013) District statistics 2011. Statistics Division, Ministry of Planning, Government of the Peoples’ Republic of BangladeshGoogle Scholar
- BBS and UNICEF (2009) Bangladesh multiple indicator cluster survey 2009; Progotir Pathey: final report. BBS and UNICEF Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
- Dey NC, Rabbi S (2013) Use of tubewell water for different purposes at household level: safety practices in rural Bangladesh, In: Achievement of BRAC-WASH program towards Millennium Development Goal and beyond 2013. BRAC, Dhaka, pp 9–30. (Research Monograph 60)Google Scholar
- Dey NC, Akter T, Hossain M (2015) Environment: Water, sanitation and hygiene. In: Hossain M, Bayes A (eds) Leading issues in rural development—Bangladesh perspective. AH Development Publishing House, Dhaka, pp 147–163Google Scholar
- Dey NC, Parvez M, Dey D, Saha R, Ghose L, Barua M, Islam A, Chowdhury M (2016) Microbial contamination of drinking water from risky tubewells situated in different hydrological regions of Bangladesh. Int J Hyg Environ Health 220(3):621–636. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.12.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- GoB (National Institute of Population Research and Training), Mitra and Associates, and ICF International (2016) Bangladesh demographic and health survey 2014. NIPORT, Mitra and Associates, and ICF International, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Rockville, Maryland, USAGoogle Scholar
- Gupta P, Vishwakarma M, Rawtani PM (2009) Assessment of water quality parameters of Kerwa Dam for drinking suitability. Int J Theor Appl Sci 1(2):53–55. http://researchtrend.net/tas12/14%20MONIKA%202.pdf
- Hunter PR, MacDonald AM, Carter RC (2010) Water supply and health. PLos Med 7:1–9. www.plosmedicine.org (accessed on 8 November 2015)
- Khanom S, Salehin M (2012) Salinity constraints to different water uses in coastal area of Bangladesh: a case study. Bangladesh J Sci Res 25(1):33–42. http://banglajol.ubiquity.press/index.php/BJSR/article/download/13048/9379
- Kurokawa M, Ogata K, Idemori M, Tsumori S, Miyaguni H, Inoue S, Hotta N (2001) Investigation of skin manifestations of arsenicism due to intake of arsenic-contaminated groundwater in residents of Samta, Jessore, Bangladesh. Arch Dermatol 137:102–103Google Scholar
- Misbahuddin M (2015) Arsenicosis: a global issue. Science Publishing Group, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- OECD (2003) Social issues in the provision and pricing of water services. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Publishing, ParisGoogle Scholar
- Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (eds). Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Rebecca D, Merrill RD, Shamim AA, Labrique AB, Ali H, Schulze K, Rashid M, Christian P, West KP (2009) Validation of two portable instruments to measure iron concentration in groundwater in rural Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr 27(3):414–418Google Scholar
- Sultana M, Saifullah ASM, Latif MB, Mamun SA, Sultana DS (2015) Drinking water quality at academic institutions of Tangail municipality. J Environ Sci Nat Res 6(1):247–252Google Scholar
- WHO (2008) Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Third edition incorporating the first and second addenda. Vol. 1. Recommendations. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
- WHO and UNICEF (2015) Progress on drinking water and sanitation: 2015 update and MDG assessment. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, Switzerland. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/177752/1/9789241509145_eng.pdf
- World Bank (2016) Bangladesh development update, October 2016: sustained development progress. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/25274 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO