Approaches in Drinking Water Provision in Developing Countries: An Investigation of Water Safety Plans and Ceramic Water Filters
Primarily, two interventions are advocated to address water safety concerns and work
towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of populations drinking water from safely
managed sources by 2030: Water Safety Plans (WSPs) and household water treatment (HWT).
This dissertation investigated technologies associated with safe water provision at two
scales: community (i.e. WSPs) and h... read moreousehold (i.e. ceramic water filters). First, a
systematic review of WSPs was conducted to understand the current evidence and knowledge
gaps in these implementations to better inform key stakeholders of research needs.
Overall, 53 documents met inclusion criteria; evidence in support of financial and
operational outcomes from WSP implementations was prevalent, but evidence on
institutional and policy outcomes were lacking. Second, a multi-country evaluation of
rural, community-managed WSP implementations was conducted using a mixed methods
protocol to evaluate how the WSP process was translated into these contexts and the
functionality of the resulting implementations. In total, 817 household surveys, 1,113
water quality samples, and 256 focus groups and key informant interviews were completed.
Overall, we found: 1) incomplete WSP implementations; 2) no documented microbiological
water quality improvements in WSP-communities; and, 3) small water supply operations
improvements. These results highlight the need for complete WSP implementation with
sufficient support, and question whether WSPs are the appropriate strategy for
community-managed water systems. Third, X-ray micro-computed tomography was used on
ceramic water filters to characterize the pore network morphology of engineered pathways
from four different filters. Results indicate 1) similarities in porosity (25-36%) and
pore size distributions (mean pore radius 7.8-14.3 um) between filters manufactured
under different parameters; 2) preferential alignment of pores normal to the direction
of flow for rice husk pore-formers; and, 3) varying tortuosity factors (13.7-38.9) in a
filter made with rice husk pore-formers as compared to tortuosity factors (3.8-5.2) in a
filter made with sawdust when both filters have uniform porosity in the
through-thickness direction. To assure delivery of safe drinking water, a strategy
integrating both intervention methods, WSP and HWT, would address safe water supply
concerns across a broad spectrum. Further development and adaptation of these
technologies is critical to achieving the
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2017.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisors: Douglas Matson, and Daniele Lantagne.
Committee: Iryna Zenyuk, Jeff Gostick, and Roger Singleton.
Keyword: Environmental engineering.read less