Little work has been done to explore intermediate options between promoting household point-of-use (POU) water treatment technologies (treating drinking water in the home) and expensive city-wide networked water treatment (piped water to individual households). The project addresses this technology gap by developing and evaluating low-cost, in-line chlorination systems that can reduce contamination of drinking water in low-income areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Steve Luby at the International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR'B) in Dhaka.Current definitions of “access to improved water supply” are based on a technological standard, one that does not take into account the microbiological quality of water accessed by households. Thus, whereas some 800 million people are considered to be lacking access to “improved” water supplies, the number who lack access to safe water is likely to be much higher. The field of POU water treatment has emerged from the understanding that centralized water supply is prohibitively expensive for low-income country governments to build in the near future. At the same time, following several decades of implementation, evidence suggests that uptake and consistent use of POU products among households is limited. This project seeks to explore low-cost chlorinatin systems as an alternative.
This project will explore water-nutrition-health interconnections and will serve as a stepping stone toward the development of theoretical and experimental paradigms linking water, agriculture, and health. The broad goals of the project are 1) to investigate the interactions between household productive and domestic water use, nutritional outcomes, and infectious disease, and 2) to identify local interventions and policy responses that are likely to improve overall health outcomes. More specifically, the project will identify the extent which, and potential causal mechanisms by which, access to domestic and productive water supplies and associated nutritional benefits affect the progression of both HIV and TB among adults living in rural African households.
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