Earth Institute Research Projects

Piloting a Novel Delivery Mechanism of a Critical Public Health Service in India: Arsenic Testing of Tubewell Water in the Field for a Fee

Lead PI: Dr. Alexander F. Van Geen

Unit Affiliation: Geochemistry, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

July 2012 - February 2013
Asia ; India
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The project will examine the feasibility, cost, and monitoring needs of a semi-commercial service for testing tubewell water in India for arsenic by randomly assigning a cost to the service in villages. The project will build on ongoing work conducted by Columbia University in Bangladesh.

OUTCOMES: The project has found that 80-97% of households would purchase a test at 10 Rs but this declined to 22-55% at 50 Rs and most households were unwilling to pay the total cost of a test of 100-150 Rs. Testers could make a living, cover transportation costs, and not unduly discriminate against poor households at 20 Rs.