A mix of secondary and primary research was conducted to examine the
hypothesis that access to an at-house water supply will deliver
significantly greater health, social and economic benefits than those
derived from a shared public water supply. The research was carried out
by a team from the University of Leeds, University of North Carolina,
University of East Anglia, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine and University College London, and was based on a mix of
literature review and field-base case studies. Fieldwork was carried out
in three countries; Ghana, South Africa and Vietnam and used a mix of
data collection methods, specifically a three-part household
questionnaire, which included anthropometric measures and the
measurement of water collection journeys, natural group discussions, and
The headline conclusion from the research is that at-home water supply
has significant, measurable benefits when compared with shared water
supply outside the home provided that the service provided is reliable
enough to ensure access to adequate quantities of water when required.
Reliable at-home water supply results in higher volumes of water
consumed, greater practice of key hygiene behaviours, a reduction in
musculo-skeletal impacts associated with carrying water from outside the
home, and improved water quality. This suggests a logical policy shift
towards the promotion of reliable household access as the international
benchmark for water supply.
Evans, B.; Bartram, J.; Hunter, P.; Williams, A.R.; Geere, J.A.; Majuru, B.; Bates, L.; Fisher, M.; Overbo, A.; Schmidt, W.P. Public health and social benefits of at-house water supplies. Final Report. University of Leeds, Leeds, UK (2013) vi + 53 pp.
Public health and social benefits of at-house water supplies. Final Report