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Int J Environ Health Res. 2016 Oct-Dec;26(5-6):508-24. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2016.1194383. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Drinking water insecurity: water quality and access in coastal south-western Bangladesh.

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a Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences , Vanderbilt University , Nashville , TN , USA.
b Environmental Studies , University of Colorado at Boulder , Boulder , CO , USA.
c Environmental Science Discipline , Khulna University , Khulna , Bangladesh.
d Department of Sociology , Vanderbilt University , Nashville , TN , USA.


National drinking water assessments for Bangladesh do not reflect local variability, or temporal differences. This paper reports on the findings of an interdisciplinary investigation of drinking water insecurity in a rural coastal south-western Bangladesh. Drinking water quality is assessed by comparison of locally measured concentrations to national levels and water quality criteria; resident's access to potable water and their perceptions are based on local social surveys. Residents in the study area use groundwater far less than the national average; salinity and local rainwater scarcity necessitates the use of multiple water sources throughout the year. Groundwater concentrations of arsenic and specific conductivity (SpC) were greater than surface water (pond) concentrations; there was no statistically significant seasonal difference in mean concentrations in groundwater, but there was for ponds, with arsenic higher in the dry season. Average arsenic concentrations in local water drinking were 2-4 times times the national average. All of the local groundwater samples exceeded the Bangladesh guidance for SpC, although the majority of residents surveyed did not perceive their water as having a 'bad' or 'salty' taste.


Bangladesh; arsenic; drinking water; salinity; water security

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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