Now, water insecurity can be measured

With the water crisis getting worse by the day, even a few pots of water have now become a luxury. A scene in Chennai's Chintadripet. Photo: R. Ragu  

For the past few weeks, many States across India, including Chennai, Bengaluru and parts of Hyderabad, are reeling under severe water scarcity. But what exactly the intensity of the problem? A consortium of professors has developed a scale to measure people’s experience in dealing with water scarcity. Besides, it also tries to quantify their experiences in access to water and its quality.

The ‘Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale’, a global water insecurity indicator, is developed by Sera Young and a team of professors.

Over 40 international scholars have used data from 8,500 households at 28 sites across 23 low and middle-income countries to develop it.

“Using the HWISE scale will help us know what to do and if an intervention is needed. The scale quantifies water insecurity in a globally comparable way. It is tested in low and middle- income countries. It’s being tested on a pilot basis in high-income countries as well,” Dr. Young said on the sidelines of the fourth Annual Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy Week celebrations held in Hyderabad, which would conclude on June 28.

In India, it was tested in Pune and Rajasthan.

The scale consists of 12 options and people have to rate their experience of household water access, availability, reliability, and use.

The data generated from the tool can be compared across regions and time. The HWISE scale can be used to determine the impact of water-related interventions and to assess if projects are achieving their stated goal.

The data can be, in turn, used to select the most impactful and cost-effective water-related programmes, technologies, and policies.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:21:21 PM |

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