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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7333-7346; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707333

Comparison and Cost Analysis of Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Requirements versus Practice in Seven Developing Countries

The Water Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 148 Rosenau Hall, CB #7431 Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Received: 19 April 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
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Abstract

Drinking water quality monitoring programs aim to support provision of safe drinking water by informing water quality management. Little evidence or guidance exists on best monitoring practices for low resource settings. Lack of financial, human, and technological resources reduce a country’s ability to monitor water supply. Monitoring activities were characterized in Cambodia, Colombia, India (three states), Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and Uganda according to water sector responsibilities, monitoring approaches, and marginal cost. The seven study countries were selected to represent a range of low resource settings. The focus was on monitoring of microbiological parameters, such as E. coli, coliforms, and H2S-producing microorganisms. Data collection involved qualitative and quantitative methods. Across seven study countries, few distinct approaches to monitoring were observed, and in all but one country all monitoring relied on fixed laboratories for sample analysis. Compliance with monitoring requirements was highest for operational monitoring of large water supplies in urban areas. Sample transport and labor for sample collection and analysis together constitute approximately 75% of marginal costs, which exclude capital costs. There is potential for substantive optimization of monitoring programs by considering field-based testing and by fundamentally reconsidering monitoring approaches for non-piped supplies. This is the first study to look quantitatively at water quality monitoring practices in multiple developing countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; E. coli; coliform; monitoring; cost analysis drinking water; E. coli; coliform; monitoring; cost analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Crocker, J.; Bartram, J. Comparison and Cost Analysis of Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Requirements versus Practice in Seven Developing Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7333-7346.

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