Is Bottled Water affordable for the Poorest in Rural Cambodia?

Chris Hutchens, Douglas White, Blanca Antizar Ladislao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The rural population of Cambodia suffers from a widespread lack of access to safe drinking water. To combat this, the government of Cambodia seeks to achieve the global Millennium Development targets by halving the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015. Several international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and private entrepreneurs have already established bottled water programs in rural communities; however the suitability of this service as a low-cost means of supplying the poorest households has not yet been assessed. This paper investigates whether this solution is within the means of the lowest-wealth rural households. The paper analyses data collected from 240 household surveys, situated in three rural Cambodian communities served by bottled water NGO Teuk Saat 1001 (TS1001). Families were surveyed regarding their income, expenditure on drinking water, and their opinion of how costly the service was. Households that bought bottled water were compared with a control group to establish key financial differences. The survey results were evaluated using an odds ratio analysis, an assessment of weekly expenditure on drinking water, and a comparison of household statements about how expensive they believed their system to be. The results of the survey suggest that TS1001 bottled water is not reaching the poorest families in the community. Current uptake of the system shows sales trending towards the middle- and high-wealth members of the community, with a high proportion of the lower income households stating that the bottled water was ‘too expensive’ in comparison to their existing methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging Course
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Engineering Education Conference Proceedings 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe EWB-UK & EAP Global Dimension To Engineering Education Conference 2012 - University College London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Mar 2012 → …


ConferenceThe EWB-UK & EAP Global Dimension To Engineering Education Conference 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period26/03/12 → …


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