Household Water Management

Sierra Leone family with water filter Our research on water seeks to establish the evidence concerning the impact of water on human health and to explore innovative ways to sustainably deliver effective and affordable interventions to the most vulnerable populations.

Our Cochrane Review on interventions to improve water quality for the prevention of infectious diarrhoea demonstrated that household-based approaches, such as using locally-produced ceramic filters, are more than twice as effective in preventing diarrhoeal disease as conventional improvements at the water source.

Our cost-effectiveness analysis of such interventions, undertaken for the World Health Organization, found such interventions to be highly cost effective. We work with:

  • private companies to help develop and test new products and technologies and to increase uptake through demand-driven strategies
  • governments to develop standards
  • NGOs who seek to implement
  • donors and international organisations to take successful approaches to scale in order to advance the Millennium Development Goals to increase access to safe

Current Projects

  • Increasing Uptake of Household Water Treatment Building on the Hygiene Centre's expertise in understanding and using the complex factors that affect human behaviour in adopting healthful innovations, staff are working with private companies to develop creative marketing campaigns and communication strategies to increase acceptance and long-term use of household-based products to improve water quality.
  • Scaling Up Household Water Treatment Under a contract with the WHO, members of the Hygiene Centre are analysing worldwide coverage of household water treatment, documenting the strategies employed to date to expand implementation, and develop recommendations to increase coverage following commercial, quasi-commercial and public/NGO models.
  • Point-of-Use Water Treatment in Emergencies Having completed an evaluation of the drinking water response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami for the WHO, Hygiene Centre investigators are currently working with NGO's to explore the role of point-of-use water treatment in response to natural disasters and complex emergencies.

Key Researchers

T Clasen
R Aunger
A Biran
M Jenkins
B Scott

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