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PubMed | Yale University, Aquaya Institute, University of California at Berkeley and University of Connecticut
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental science & technology | Year: 2016

Anthropogenic climate change will likely increase diarrhea rates for communities with inadequate water, sanitation, or hygiene facilities including those with intermittent water supplies. Current approaches to study these impacts typically focus on the effect of temperature on all-cause diarrhea while excluding precipitation and diarrhea etiology while not providing actionable adaptation strategies. We develop a partially mechanistic, systems approach to estimate future diarrhea prevalence and design adaptation strategies. The model incorporates downscaled global climate models, water quality data, quantitative microbial risk assessment, and pathogen prevalence in an agent-based modeling framework incorporating precipitation and diarrhea etiology. It is informed using water quality and diarrhea data from Hubli-Dharwad, India-a city with an intermittent piped water supply exhibiting seasonal water quality variability vulnerable to climate change. We predict all-cause diarrhea prevalence to increase by 4.9% (Range: 1.5-9.0%) by 2011-2030, 11.9% (Range: 7.1-18.2%) by 2046-2065, and 18.2% (Range: 9.1-26.2%) by 2080-2099. Rainfall is an important modifying factor. Rotavirus prevalence is estimated to decline by 10.5% with Cryptosporidium and E. coli prevalence increasing by 9.9% and 6.3%, respectively, by 2080-2099 in this setting. These results suggest that ceramic water filters would be recommended as a climate adaptation strategy over chlorination. This work highlights the vulnerability of intermittent water supplies to climate change and the urgent need for improvements.

Hodge J.,Emory University | Chang H.H.,Emory University | Boisson S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Collin S.M.,University of Bristol | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2016

Background: Fecally contaminated drinking water is believed to be a major contributor to the global burden of diarrheal disease and a leading cause of mortality among young children. However, recent systematic reviews and results from blinded studies of water quality interventions have raised questions about the risk associated with fecally contaminated water, particularly as measured by thermotolerant coliform (TTC) bacteria, a WHO-approved indicator of drinking water quality. Objectives: We investigated the association between TTC in drinking water and diarrhea using data from seven previous studies. Methods: We obtained individual-level data from available field studies that measured TTC levels in household-drinking water and reported prevalence of diarrhea among household members during the days prior to the visit. Results: The combined data set included diarrhea prevalence for 26,518 individuals and 8,000 water samples from 4,017 households, yielding 45,052 observations. The odds of diarrhea increased for each log10 increase in TTC/100 mL by 18% (95% CI: 11, 26%) for children < 5 years old and 12% (95% CI: 8, 18%) for all ages. For all ages, the odds of diarrhea increased by 21%, 35% and 49% for those whose household water samples were from 11–100, 101–1,000, and > 1,000 TTC/100 mL, respectively compared to < 1 TTC/100 mL. We found no evidence of increased odds of diarrhea with contamination levels below 11 TTC/100 mL, either in adults or children. Conclusions: Our analysis of individual-level data shows increased risk of diarrhea with increasing levels of TTC in drinking water. These results suggest an association between fecally contaminated water and diarrheal disease and provides support for health-based targets for levels of TTC in drinking water and for interventions to improve drinking water quality to prevent diarrhea. © 2016, Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services. All rights reserved.

Luoto J.,RAND Corporation | Najnin N.,International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research | Mahmud M.,International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research | Mahmud M.,Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: There is evidence that household point-of-use (POU) water treatment products can reduce the enormous burden of water-borne illness. Nevertheless, adoption among the global poor is very low, and little evidence exists on why. Methods: We gave 600 households in poor communities in Dhaka, Bangladesh randomly-ordered two-month free trials of four water treatment products: dilute liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite solution, marketed locally as Water Guard), sodium dichloroisocyanurate tablets (branded as Aquatabs), a combined flocculant-disinfectant powdered mixture (the PUR Purifier of Water), and a silver-coated ceramic siphon filter. Consumers also received education on the dangers of untreated drinking water. We measured which products consumers used with self-reports, observation (for the filter), and chlorine tests (for the other products). We also measured drinking water's contamination with E. coli (compared to 200 control households). Findings: Households reported highest usage of the filter, although no product had even 30% usage. E. coli concentrations in stored drinking water were generally lowest when households had Water Guard. Households that self-reported product usage had large reductions in E. coli concentrations with any product as compared to controls. Conclusion: Traditional arguments for the low adoption of POU products focus on affordability, consumers' lack of information about germs and the dangers of unsafe water, and specific products not meshing with a household's preferences. In this study we provided free trials, repeated informational messages explaining the dangers of untreated water, and a variety of product designs. The low usage of all products despite such efforts makes clear that important barriers exist beyond cost, information, and variation among these four product designs. Without a better understanding of the choices and aspirations of the target end-users, household-based water treatment is unlikely to reduce morbidity and mortality substantially in urban Bangladesh and similar populations. © 2011 Luoto et al.

Rahman Z.,Aquaya Institute | Aleru L.,Riara Corporation
36th WEDC International Conference: Delivering Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services in an Uncertain Environment | Year: 2013

Microbial water quality testing is critical for the provision of safe drinking water, yet microbial testing activity is limited in much of the developing world. This briefing note provides insight into the status of microbial testing programs in developing countries and introduces the Monitoring for Safe Water Program, a study that will examine constraints to microbial water quality testing faced by water suppliers and surveillance agencies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Arnold B.F.,University of California at Berkeley | Khush R.S.,Aquaya Institute | Ramaswamy P.,Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute | Rajkumar P.,Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2015

Discreet collection of spot check observations to measure household hygiene conditions is a common measurement technique in epidemiologic studies of hygiene in low-income countries. The objective of this study was to determine whether the collection of spot check observations in longitudinal studies could itself induce reactivity (i.e., change participant behavior). We analyzed data from a 12-month prospective cohort study in rural Tamil Nadu, India that was conducted in the absence of any hygiene or toilet promotion activities. Our data included hygiene and toilet spot checks from 10,427 household visits. We found substantial evidence of participant reactivity to spot check observations of hygiene practices that were easy to modify on short notice. For example, soap observed at the household's primary handwashing location increased from 49%at enrollment to 81%by the fourth visit and remained at or above 77% for the remainder of the study. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Arnold B.F.,University of California at Berkeley | Khush R.S.,Aquaya Institute | Ramaswamy P.,Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute | London A.G.,Aquaya Institute | And 6 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Empirical measurement of interventions to address significant global health and development problems is necessary to ensure that resources are applied appropriately. Such intervention programs are often deployed at the group or community level. The gold standard design to measure the effectiveness of community-level interventions is the community-randomized trial, but the conditions of these trials often make it difficult to assess their external validity and sustainability. The sheer number of community interventions, relative to randomized studies, speaks to a need for rigorous observational methods to measure their impact. In this article, we use the potential outcomes model for causal inference to motivate a matched cohort design to study the impact and sustainability of nonrandomized, preexisting interventions. We illustrate the method using a sanitation mobilization, water supply, and hygiene intervention in rural India. In a matched sample of 25 villages, we enrolled 1,284 children <5 y old and measured outcomes over 12 mo. Although we found a 33 percentage point difference in new toilet construction [95% confidence interval (CI) = 28%, 39%], we found no impacts on height-for-age Z scores (adjusted difference = 0.01, 95% CI = -0.15, 0.19) or diarrhea (adjusted longitudinal prevalence difference = 0.003, 95% CI = -0.001, 0.008) among children <5 y old. This study demonstrates that matched cohort designs can estimate impacts from nonrandomized, preexisting interventions that are used widely in development efforts. Interpreting the impacts as causal, however, requires stronger assumptions than prospective, randomized studies.

Albert J.,Aquaya Institute | Luoto J.,University of California at Berkeley | Levine D.,University of California at Berkeley
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Household point-of-use (POU) water treatment technologies targeted at vulnerable populations are microbiologically effective and, in small trials, improve health. We do not understand the factors that influence preference for and adoption of these technologies by target end-users. We cycled 400 rural subsistence farm households in western Kenya through three randomly ordered two-month trials of three POU products: dilute hypochlorite solution, porous ceramic filtration, and a combined flocculant-disinfectant powdered mixture to compare relative end-user preferences and usage. Households reported higher usage of both dilute hypochlorite and filters than the flocculant-disinfectant. Averaged among all participating households, Escherichia coli reductions in treated water were generally higher among those that received dilute hypochlorite solution than among those receiving either of the other two products. Among those households that self-reported product usage, the E. coli reductions achieved by dilute hypochlorite and the flocculant-disinfectant are statistically equivalent to one another and higher than the reductions achieved by filters. At the same time, households ranked filters most frequently as their most preferred product. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Ercumen A.,University of California at Berkeley | Arnold B.F.,University of California at Berkeley | Kumpel E.,University of California at Berkeley | Kumpel E.,Aquaya Institute | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: Intermittent delivery of piped water can lead to waterborne illness through contamination in the pipelines or during household storage, use of unsafe water sources during intermittencies, and limited water availability for hygiene. We assessed the association between continuous versus intermittent water supply and waterborne diseases, child mortality, and weight for age in Hubli-Dharwad, India. Methods and Findings: We conducted a matched cohort study with multivariate matching to identify intermittent and continuous supply areas with comparable characteristics in Hubli-Dharwad. We followed 3,922 households in 16 neighborhoods with children <5 y old, with four longitudinal visits over 15 mo (Nov 2010–Feb 2012) to record caregiver-reported health outcomes (diarrhea, highly credible gastrointestinal illness, bloody diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis, and deaths of children <2 y old) and, at the final visit, to measure weight for age for children <5 y old. We also collected caregiver-reported data on negative control outcomes (cough/cold and scrapes/bruises) to assess potential bias from residual confounding or differential measurement error. Continuous supply had no significant overall association with diarrhea (prevalence ratio [PR] = 0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83–1.04, p = 0.19), bloody diarrhea (PR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.60–1.01, p = 0.06), or weight-for-age z-scores (Δz = 0.01, 95% CI: −0.07–0.09, p = 0.79) in children <5 y old. In prespecified subgroup analyses by socioeconomic status, children <5 y old in lower-income continuous supply households had 37% lower prevalence of bloody diarrhea (PR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.46–0.87, p-value for interaction = 0.03) than lower-income intermittent supply households; in higher-income households, there was no significant association between continuous versus intermittent supply and child diarrheal illnesses. Continuous supply areas also had 42% fewer households with ≥1 reported case of typhoid fever (cumulative incidence ratio [CIR] = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.41–0.78, p = 0.001) than intermittent supply areas. There was no significant association with hepatitis, cholera, or mortality of children <2 y old; however, our results were indicative of lower mortality of children <2 y old (CIR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.22–1.07, p = 0.10) in continuous supply areas. The major limitations of our study were the potential for unmeasured confounding given the observational design and measurement bias from differential reporting of health symptoms given the nonblinded treatment. However, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of the negative control outcomes between study groups that would suggest undetected confounding or measurement bias. Conclusions: Continuous water supply had no significant overall association with diarrheal disease or ponderal growth in children <5 y old in Hubli-Dharwad; this might be due to point-of-use water contamination from continuing household storage and exposure to diarrheagenic pathogens through nonwaterborne routes. Continuous supply was associated with lower prevalence of dysentery in children in low-income households and lower typhoid fever incidence, suggesting that intermittently operated piped water systems are a significant transmission mechanism for Salmonella typhi and dysentery-causing pathogens in this urban population, despite centralized water treatment. Continuous supply was associated with reduced transmission, especially in the poorer higher-risk segments of the population. © 2015 Ercumen et al.

PubMed | Aquaya Institute and The World Bank
Type: | Journal: The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene | Year: 2016

We compared dry and rainy season water sources and their quality in the urban region of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Representative sampling indicated that municipal water supplies represent < 1% of the water sources. Residents rely on privately constructed and maintained boreholes that are supplemented by commercially packaged bottled and sachet drinking water. Contamination by thermotolerant coliforms increased from 21% of drinking water sources in the dry season to 42% of drinking water sources in the rainy season (N = 356 and N = 397). The most significant increase was in sachet water, which showed the lowest frequencies of contamination in the dry season compared with other sources (15%, N = 186) but the highest frequencies during the rainy season (59%, N = 76). Only half as many respondents reported drinking sachet water in the rainy season as in the dry season. Respondents primarily used flush or pour-flush toilets connected to septic tanks (85%, N = 399). The remainder relied on pit latrines and hanging (pier) latrines that drained into surface waters. We found significant associations between fecal contamination in boreholes and the nearby presence of hanging latrines. Sanitary surveys of boreholes showed that more than half were well constructed, and we did not identify associations between structural or site deficiencies and microbial water quality. The deterioration of drinking water quality during the rainy season is a serious public health risk for both untreated groundwater and commercially packaged water, highlighting a need to address gaps in monitoring and quality control.

PubMed | Aquaya Institute, Uhl and Associates Inc. and The World Bank
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene | Year: 2016

Establishing and maintaining public water services in fragile states is a significant development challenge. In anticipation of water infrastructure investments, this study compares drinking water sources and quality between Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Monrovia, Liberia, two cities recovering from political and economic instability. In both cities, access to piped water is low, and residents rely on a range of other private and public water sources. In Port Harcourt, geographic points for sampling were randomly selected and stratified by population density, whereas in Monrovia, locations for sampling were selected from a current inventory of public water sources. In Port Harcourt, the sampling frame demonstrated extensive reliance on private boreholes and a preference, in both planned and unplanned settlements, for drinking bottled and sachet water. In Monrovia, sample collection focused on public sources (predominantly shallow dug wells). In Port Harcourt, fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were detected in 25% of sources (N = 566), though concentrations were low. In Monrovia, 57% of sources contained FIB and 22% of sources had nitrate levels that exceeded standards (N = 204). In Monrovia, the convenience of piped water may promote acceptance of the associated water tariffs. However, in Port Harcourt, the high prevalence of self-supply and bottled and sachet drinking water suggests that the consumers willingness to pay for ongoing municipal water supply improvements may be determined by service reliability and perceptions of water quality.

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