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Intermittent Domestic Water Supply: A Critical Review and Analysis of Causal-Consequential Pathways

1
US-Center, Stockholm Environment Institute, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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Strategic Environmental Consulting, 9 Spruce Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
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Department of Anthropology, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter Coombes
Water 2016, 8(7), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8070274
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Challenges)
Communities in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries, face obstacles in supplying continuous water to household consumers. Authorities often cite water scarcity as the cause, but we demonstrate that environmental constraints constitute only one aspect of a multi-dimensional problem. By asking what causes intermittent domestic water supply, this literature review (129 articles) identifies 47 conditions of intermittent systems and the causal-consequential pathways between them that can reinforce intermittency. These pathways span several disciplines including engineering, government administration and anthropology, and when viewed together they (1) emphasize the human drivers of intermittency; (2) suggest generalized interventions; and (3) reveal a gap in the literature in terms of meaningful categorizations of the reliability of intermittent supplies. Based on the reliability of consumers’ water access, we propose three categories of intermittency—predictable, irregular, and unreliable—to facilitate comparisons between case studies and transfers of solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: domestic water supply; intermittent water supply; unreliable water supply; water resources management; interdisciplinary review domestic water supply; intermittent water supply; unreliable water supply; water resources management; interdisciplinary review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Galaitsi, S.E.; Russell, R.; Bishara, A.; Durant, J.L.; Bogle, J.; Huber-Lee, A. Intermittent Domestic Water Supply: A Critical Review and Analysis of Causal-Consequential Pathways. Water 2016, 8, 274.

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