Water Demands in Low-Income Countries

  • Steven Renzetti
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 22)


Nowhere is the need to understand the structure of water demands and to use this information to rationalize water management greater than in low-income countries. Recall from chapter 2 that water demands in many low-income countries (including those that are already considered to have inadequate supplies) are growing rapidly. The following quotations are indicative of the magnitude and severity of the problems that exist:
  • The challenge is enormous: one billion people still lack access to safe water, two billion lack safe sanitation. Slow progress is not acceptable, as more than three million children still die every year from avoidable water-related disease. (World Bank Water Supply and Sanitation web-site, March 1, 2000,

  • Dirty water has become the world’s most dangerous killer. At least twenty-five thousand people die every day from the use of it…Diarrhea alone kills at least 4.6 million young children every year. About 200 million people are victims of schistosomiasis caused by contaminated water on the skin. Five hundred million have trachoma, one of the main causes of blindness because of dirty dishwater. About half of the people living in developing countries do not have safe drinking water (La Jornada, 1992, p. 17).

  • It is estimated that at least 25% of rural water supplies in developing countries are not working, and in some countries, construction of new facilities is not even keeping pace with the rate of failure (Mu, Whittington and Briscoe, 1990, p. 522).


Water Demand Price Elasticity Supply Source Discrete Choice Model Contingent Valuation Survey 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Renzetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Brock UniversityCanada

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