Volume 87, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



How does specific information about contamination in a household's drinking water affect water handling behavior? We randomly split a sample of households in rural Andhra Pradesh, India. The treatment group observed a contamination test of the drinking water in their own household storage vessel; while they were waiting for their results, they were also provided with a list of actions that they could take to remedy contamination if they tested positive. The control group received no test or guidance. The drinking water of nearly 90% of tested households showed evidence of contamination by fecal bacteria. They reacted by purchasing more of their water from commercial sources but not by making more time-intensive adjustments. Providing salient evidence of risk increases demand for commercial clean water.


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Supplementary PDF

  • Received : 22 Jan 2012
  • Accepted : 18 Apr 2012
  • Published online : 02 Jul 2012

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