Health cost of salinity contamination in drinking water: evidence from Bangladesh

  • Debasish Kumar DasEmail author
  • Md. Sariful Islam
  • Sheikh Hadiujjaman
  • Champa Bati Dutta
  • Md. Manjur Morshed
Research Article


This study estimates health cost of salinity contamination in drinking water in the severe salinity affected three south-western districts of Bangladesh. We collected information on self-reported health status, household characteristics, and laboratory-tested salinity concentration in drinking water from randomly selected 266 households. Our findings show that an increase in the concentration of 100 mg sodium chloride per litre in the drinking water raises annual health cost BDT 262 (USD 3.28) per household, all other things being equal. For average salinity concentration (868.26 mg L−1), we computed gross annual health cost per household BDT 2270 (USD 28.38). Limiting salt concentration at the safe level could save approximately BDT 1617 (USD 20) per household or BDT 170 (USD 2.12) million in aggregate annually, which accounts for almost 1% of their disposable income. A benefit–cost analysis shows that net present value of benefits from a 10-year project for supplying safe drinking water to the entire population is around USD 7.33 million, and thus, the study indicates financial viability of alternative supply system (pond sand filtering) to the concerned authorities.


Salinity contamination Safe drinking water Willingness to pay Cost of illness Cost–benefit analysis Bangladesh 

JEL Classification

I12 I31 I38 Q01 



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Copyright information

© Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debasish Kumar Das
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Md. Sariful Islam
    • 2
  • Sheikh Hadiujjaman
    • 2
  • Champa Bati Dutta
    • 2
  • Md. Manjur Morshed
    • 3
  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Economics DisciplineKhulna UniversityKhulnaBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of Urban and Regional PlanningKhulna University of Engineering and TechnologyKhulnaBangladesh

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