Economic Burden of Groundwater Shortages and Willingness to Pay for Water Access: A Case Study of Lohi Bher, Islamabad
Author: Muhammad Sulaiman

Water is one of the most used natural resource on the earth. With an increase in global warming, population, industrialization and climate change, water resources are shrinking across the globe especially in Pakistan. This research studies the water challenges faced by the people residing in Lohi Bher, Islamabad due to unavailability of tap water access that increases their cost spent on water. Present study has investigated the factors that influence the willingness to pay (WTP) of households for tap water services. For this purpose, a primary survey was conducted, and data was collected from the households in Lohi Bher Islamabad. A total of 147 households were included in present study and data has been collected using random sampling technique. However, to gauge the perspective of tanker Suppliers as a major stakeholder in this scenario, multiple interviews were conducted. The determinants of total water cost faced by the residents of the Lohi Bher on acquiring water services is analyzed using the ordinary least square (OLS). The findings reveal that total water cost (TWC) is statistically significant and positively associated with education of household head (HHH), family size, total water quantity consumed per month, number of washrooms and dummy of tanker. The results depict that the groundwater level in Lohi Bher, has gone down to more than 150m from 40m over the period of just 10 years. The average per month total water cost that a household bears is estimated to be Rs. 2961.027. Our empirical findings indicate that household’s willingness to pay is influenced by various factors. Age, education and income of household head (HHH), dummy for water users from tankers and dummy for filter water users are found to be statistically significant and positively associated with household’s WTP. The study reveals that 75% households are willing to pay for tap water services. Within certain degree of confidence, it can be concluded that most of the households are willing to pay an average amount of Rs. 241/month for one hour of tap water access, implying that market for the supply of water exists. Current study revealed that the tanker water is mainly used for the subsistence needs of household. It is also observed that households using low quality of water (supplied by tankers) are getting sick more frequently than their counter parts. Therefore, it is proposed that government should intervene to supply high quality tap water to improve the productivity of poor segment of society residing in these areas. Supervisor:- Dr. Abedullah

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Supervisor: Abedullah Anjum

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