Developing Sustainable Models of Arsenic-Mitigation Technologies in the Middle-Ganga Plain in India

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This study seeks to understand factors that guide the decision-making process to adopt and implement the available arsenic-mitigation technologies in rural areas in the middle-Ganga Plain in India. A total of 340 households comprising 2500 people were surveyed. Socio-economic and demographic factors, water and sanitation status, time spent and distance travelled to collect water, arsenic awareness, willingness to pay (WTP) for arsenic-free water, people's trust in others and in institutions, social capital in communities, and preferences for sustainable arsenic-mitigation options were investigated. Arsenic treatment units (filters) and piped water supply systems were the most preferred sustainable arsenic-mitigation options in the surveyed villages. Less preferred arsenic-mitigation options include deep tube wells, dug wells, and rainwater harvesting systems. Binary logistic regression models for each arsenic-mitigation option were produced. Arsenic awareness, WTP, trust in agencies, trust in institutions and social capital were found to be the most significant factors for decision-making for preferring one arsenic-mitigation technology over the others. We recommend a mixed model of two arsenic-mitigation options for the studied individuals, which could be a sustainable arsenic-mitigation option for them, considering their socio-economic and demographic conditions. Existing institutions should be strengthened, agencies empowered, and communities enlightened about arsenic problems.



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