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Water 2018, 10(5), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050607

Hidden Cost of Drinking Water Treatment and Its Relation with Socioeconomic Status in Nepalese Urban Context

1
Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, 4-4-37 Takeda Kofu, Yamanashi 400-8510, Japan
2
International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Nepal Office, GPO Box- 8975, EPC 416 Kathmandu, Nepal
3
Kobe Gakuin University, Kobe City, Hyogo 651-2180, Japan
4
Interdisciplinary Centre for River Basin Environment, University of Yamanashi, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-8511, Japan
5
The Small Earth Nepal (SEN), Tripureshwor, GPO Box-20533 Kathmandu, Nepal
6
Graduate Faculty of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Yamanashi, 4-4-37 Takeda Kofu, Yamanashi 400-8510, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 6 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)
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Abstract

Kathmandu Valley faces water scarcity from decades of the added burden of water storage and treatment, which imposed cost. We estimated the method-specific cost of in-house drinking water treatment (9 L/day used) based on equipment price and life, daily operation time, fuel used, and consumables replacement frequency, which were Nepalese Rupees (NRs) 23, 57, 392, 586 and 799 for chemicals, ceramic filter, boiling, Euro-Guard and reverse osmosis-ultraviolet (RO-UV) water purification, respectively. The monthly average water treatment cost was estimated based on these estimates and treatment methods used in households, obtained from a questionnaire survey of 1500 households, and its socioeconomic relationship in a Nepalese urban context was investigated. Of the households, 75% practiced at least one treatment method, (average, 1.4). The estimated monthly average cost per household was NRs 380. The fixed effects model showed that the cost was significantly higher in Lalitpur district, and in high school education households. Higher water insecurity perception of respondents was the main determinant of higher treatment cost, which was especially true in Lalitpur district. Water treatment added extra financial burden, especially for the poor households which should be averted or minimized by concerned authorities to provide adequate quantity, quality, and access to drinking water for all. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; household survey; water treatment cost; water treatment practice; socioeconomic effect drinking water; household survey; water treatment cost; water treatment practice; socioeconomic effect
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shrestha, K.B.; Thapa, B.R.; Aihara, Y.; Shrestha, S.; Bhattarai, A.P.; Bista, N.; Kazama, F.; Shindo, J. Hidden Cost of Drinking Water Treatment and Its Relation with Socioeconomic Status in Nepalese Urban Context. Water 2018, 10, 607.

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