Communal Taps: Assessing the Impacts of Shared Piped Water Supplies in Rural Kyrgyzstan

Type Report
Title Communal Taps: Assessing the Impacts of Shared Piped Water Supplies in Rural Kyrgyzstan
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Although shared piped water supply systems are an increasingly popular way of providing
“improved water sources” in developing countries, little rigorous evidence exists on the benefits
of such systems. To fill this gap, the research presented in this paper assesses a large-scale
infrastructure project implemented in rural Kyrgyzstan. Using data on the scoring system
designed to select villages for the project, this paper exploits a non-linearity that exists in the
likelihood of being selected to identify the impacts of these improved water sources on village,
household, and individual-level health-related outcomes. In doing so, the paper overcomes
endogeneity concerns due to non-random village selection. The infrastructure project did improve
water access in villages that are selected to receive a water supply system; households in such
villages are less likely to use an unprotected source for their household water and are more likely
to use a primary water source that is located less than 200 meters from the house. This results in a
significant decrease in the village-level incidence of two water-related diseases, acute intestinal
infections and Hepatitis A, in children 5 years old and younger. An analysis of impacts on
incidence of a disease less likely to be directly affected by water access, specifically acute
respiratory infections, was performed as a robustness check. As was hypothesized, there is no
evidence that the improved water supply systems reduce acute respiratory infections. Second,
while there are perceived benefits of possessing tactical nuclear weapons, there are also
formidable risks and costs incurred by Russia’s current NSNW posture, albeit Russian
commanders will probably disagree with my risk assessment.
I would argue that a Russian-U.S. arms control treaty with verification and accounting mechanisms
would be a good first step to both reducing these risks and costs and to bringing the numbers of
NSNWs down to levels sufficient for the roles that these weapons can realistically play.

Related studies