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Researching domestic water use in rural Can Tho

The water supply system in the rural areas of the Mekong Delta – a region where water is naturally abundant - is characterised by a diversity of water sources. Rural households whether they are connected to a piped water supply scheme or not, make use of various water sources such as groundwater, river water and rainwater.

 

The water supply system in the rural areas of the Mekong Delta – a region where water is naturally abundant - is characterised by a diversity of water sources. Rural households whether they are connected to a piped water supply scheme or not, make use of various water sources such as groundwater, river water and rainwater.

 

Referring to secondary data, it is difficult to assess how many people have access to clean water because the available data show substantially different results. This is partly due to the application of a variety of definitions about what access to clean water means.

 

Between October 2008 and March 2009, around 50 semi-structured interviews were conducted in Can Tho, investigating water supply strategies of rural households. Based on the results of the survey, the following types of households have been identified:

Two categories can be distinguished. First, households that are located inside the network areas of piped water supply schemes. Second, households that are located outside these areas.

 

Households inside the network areas are not necessarily connected to the piped schemes; it also depends on the ability and willingness to pay for the water service if a household uses tap water. The main financial burden consists of paying for the connection to the water supply scheme. In areas without piped water schemes, access to clean water also requires financial means, e.g. for buying bottled water (a very seldom case), digging a private well and/or constructing and providing prerequisites (roof type, number of jars) for rainwater water collection and storage.

 



Figure 2 - left: Jars used for storing rainwater, right: Water supply station.

 

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