Date of Award
Matthew J. Taylor, Ph.D.
Development indicators, Laos, Millennium development goals, Water, Water fetching
The Millennium Development Goals measure ‘access to improved drinking water’ using an indicator that defines access as the presence of an improved water source within 1 kilometer of a person’s dwelling. This purely linear measurement has significant shortcomings, including a lack of consideration for the difficulty of the terrain being traversed and the weight of the loads being carried. This paper examines in detail the human energy costs associated with fetching water, first using two Lao villages as case studies, then applying a predictive energy expenditure model to measure the potential caloric effect of variations in the age and gender of water fetchers and in the nature of the terrain they must traverse. Results indicate that these factors have a substantial influence on energy expenditure, with one study village resident who walks 1 km to fetch water during part of the year spending more than 30% of her daily caloric intake on this task. This finding may have important implications on policies relating to water provision in the developing world.
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La Frenierre, Jeff, "The Burden of Fetching Water: Using Caloric Expenditure as an Indicator of Access to Safe Drinking Water—a Case Study from Xieng Khouang Province, Lao PDR" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 352.
Received from ProQuest
Jeff La Frenierre