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Open AccessArticle

Water Supply Challenges in Rural Areas: A Case Study from Central Kazakhstan

1
Department of Public Health, Karaganda Medical University, Gogol Street 40, Karaganda 100008, Kazakhstan
2
Division of Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
3
Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, Box 221, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050688
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Health Disparities)
Rural water supplies have traditionally been overshadowed by urban ones. That must now change, as the Sustainable Development Goals calls for water for all. The objective of the paper is to assess the current access to and the perceived water quality in villages with various types of water supply. The survey was carried out during July–December 2017 in four villages in central Kazakhstan. Overall, 1369 randomly selected households were interviewed. The results revealed that even though villagers were provided with tap water, significant numbers used alternative sources. There were three reasons for this situation: residents’ doubts regarding the tap water quality; use of other sources out of habit; and availability of cheaper or free sources. Another problem concerned the volume of water consumption, which dropped sharply with decreased quality or inconvenience of sources used by households. Moreover, people gave a poor estimate to the quality and reliability of water from wells, open sources and tankered water. The paper suggests that as well decentralization of water management as monitoring of both water supply and water use are essential measures. There must be a tailor-made approach to each village for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of providing rural Kazakhstan with safe water. View Full-Text
Keywords: access to water; drinking water sources; perceived water quality; reliability of water supply systems; rural area; volume of water consumption access to water; drinking water sources; perceived water quality; reliability of water supply systems; rural area; volume of water consumption
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Omarova, A.; Tussupova, K.; Hjorth, P.; Kalishev, M.; Dosmagambetova, R. Water Supply Challenges in Rural Areas: A Case Study from Central Kazakhstan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 688.

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