In Vietnam’s Red River Delta, the Government has been investing in the construction of large distribution networks using safe, arsenic-free water sources to increase access to sustainable clean water supplies and foster equity. The suitability of these piped water schemes as a long term solution to arsenic mitigation hinges on financial contributions from local households. Piped water connection fees and monthly usage tariffs are structured to recover a portion of the cost of capital infrastructure, as well as on-going operations and maintenance expenditures.
However, the availability of cheap, convenient, and often free alternatives, along with low awareness of arsenic contamination has limited demand for piped water. Water pricing guidelines fail to take into account household valuation of clean water, the availability of alternatives, and the potential negative externalities associated with continued private groundwater pumping. As a result, take-up and monthly usage conditional on take-up are far lower than desired and insufficient to achieve cost recovery targets, thus threatening the sustainability of the systems.
This study analyses the water consumption patterns in My Huong Commune, Bac Ninh Province. The activity consists of collecting socio-economic information on all households in order to provide baseline information, and estimating local demand for piped water.