An assessment of the costs and benefits of interventions aimed at improving rural community water supplies in developed countries

Hunter, Paul R., Pond, Kathy, Jagals, Paul and Cameron, John (2009) An assessment of the costs and benefits of interventions aimed at improving rural community water supplies in developed countries. Science of the Total Environment, 407 12: 3681-3685.


Author Hunter, Paul R.
Pond, Kathy
Jagals, Paul
Cameron, John
Title An assessment of the costs and benefits of interventions aimed at improving rural community water supplies in developed countries
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-9697
1879-1026
Publication date 2009-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.03.013
Volume 407
Issue 12
Start page 3681
End page 3685
Total pages 5
Editor A. Méndez-Vilas
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Formatted abstract We report a cost benefit analyses (CBA) for water interventions in rural populations of developed country sub-regions. A Bayesian belief network was used to estimate the cost benefit ratio using Monte Carlo simulation. Where possible we used input data from recently published primary research or systematic reviews. Otherwise variables were derived from previous work in the peer-reviewed or grey literature. For these analyses we considered the situation of people with small and very small community supplies that may not be adequately managed. For the three developed country sub-regions Amr-A (America region A), Eur-A (European region A) and Wpr-A (Western Pacific region A), we estimate the costs of acute diarrhoeal illness associated with small community supplies to be U$4671 million (95% CI 1721–9592), the capital costs of intervention to be US$13703 million (95% CI 6670–20735), additional annual maintenance to be US$804 million (95%CI 359–1247) and the CB ratio to be 2.78 (95%CI 0.86–6.5). However, we also estimated the cost of post infectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) following drinking water-associated acute gastroenteritis to be US$11896 million (95%CI 3118–22657). When the benefits of reduced IBS are added to the analysis the CB ratio increases to 9.87 (95%CI 3.34–20.49). The most important driver of uncertainty was the estimate of the cost of illness. However, there are very few good estimates of costs in improving management of small rural supplies in the literature.

Investments in drinking-water provision in rural settings are highly cost beneficial in the developed world. In the developed world, the CB ratio is substantially positive especially once the impact of IBS is included.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Thematic Issue - BioMicroWorld Conference

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
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