Abstract

Over a dozen studies have examined how households who travel to collect water (about one-quarter of humanity) make choices about where and how much to collect. There is little evidence, however, that these studies have informed rural water supply planning in anything but a qualitative way. In this paper, we describe a new web-based decision support tool that planners or community members can use to simulate scenarios such as (1) price, quality, or placement changes of existing sources, (2) the closure of an existing source, or (3) the addition of a new source. We describe the analytical structure of the model and then demonstrate its possibilities using data from a recent study in rural Meru County, Kenya. We discuss some limits of the current model, and encourage readers and practitioners to explore it and suggest ways in which it could be improved or used most effectively.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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