Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Science and Mathematics


Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Huan Feng

Committee Member

Gregory A. Pope

Committee Member

Yang Deng

Committee Member

Naushad Kollikkathara

Committee Member

Alexander van Geen


Arsenic (As) contamination in drinking water is a global concern. About 150 million people from 70 countries in the world are at risk to health hazards associated with As contamination. In this study, we compared four As mitigation approaches practiced in Bangladesh and their costs. Our results show that intervention that is associated with the lowest cost of exposure reduction is testing and switching ($3/person), followed by intermediate wells ($28/person), deep tube wells ($143/person), and piped water supply system ($158/person). We then prioritized affected villages to reduce exposure and facilitate mitigation using three criteria: weighted exposure (mean As concentration x number of wells), unsafe proportion (number of unsafe wells/total number of wells in a village*100) and village score (average score of each village calculated by the site scoring algorithm used in this study). Our novel approach (weighted exposure) addressed twice as much as exposure compared to the conventional approach (proportion unsafe) adopted by the local government. We also explored areas where low-cost intermediate wells (45-90 m) are a promising alternate for safe drinking water instead of expensive deep wells. Finally, we introduced a free android mobile phone application (site scoring app ‘Nolkup’) that can help users to identify As safe wells around them or install a new well that is likely to be safe. We believe that the knowledge from this research will be useful to local government and regulatory authorities for policy development, resource allocation and management in contaminated areas.

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