Upgrading intermittent to continuous water supply in India (2009-2012)

2156444_origAn interdisciplinary group of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley (CA, USA), the Center for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (Dharwad, India), and SDM College of Engineering (Dharwad, India), worked together to evaluate the conversion from intermittent piped water supply to continuous supply (’24×7′) in Hubli-Dharwad, India. In Hubli-Dharwad, 10% of the population was switched to 24×7 supply in 2007/2008, and the remaining residents continued to access piped water intermittently (supply every ~5 days). We studied the impacts of this conversion on water quality, health, water quantity, and household economics. The papers resulting from this project are below.

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Water Quality | Health | Water Quantity | Household Economics

Synthesis paper

  • Ray, I., N. Billava, Z. Burt, J. Colford Jr., A. Ercumen, K.P. Jayaramu, E. Kumpel, N. Nayak, K. Nelson, C. Woefle-Erskine (2019). From intermittent to continuous water supply: A multi-dimensional evaluation of water system reforms from Hubli-Dharwad, Karnataka. Economic and Political Weekly, 53 (49). online

Water Quality

  • Kumpel, E. and Nelson, K. L. (2013) Comparing Microbial Water Quality in an Intermittent and Continuous Piped Water Supply. Water Research, 47(14), 5176–5188.online
  • Kumpel, E. and Nelson, K. L. (2014) Mechanisms affecting water quality in intermittent supply. Environmental Science & Technology, 48(5), 2766–2775. online
  • Kumpel, E. and K. Nelson (2016). Intermittent Water Supply: Prevalence, Practice, and Microbial Water Quality. Environmental Science & Technology, 50 (2). online


  • Ercumen, A., Arnold, B. F., Kumpel, E., Burt, Z., Ray, I., Nelson, K.L., and J. M. Colford Jr. (2015). Upgrading a Piped Water Supply from Intermittent to Continuous Delivery and Association with Waterborne Illness: A Matched Cohort Study in Urban India. PLoS Medicine 12(10). online

Water Quantity

  • Kumpel, E., C. Woelfe-Erskine, I. Ray, and K. Nelson (2017). Measuring household consumption and waste in unmetered, intermittent piped water systems. Water Resources Research, 53. doi:10.1002/2016WR019702. online
  • Jayaramu, K.P., Burt, Z., Manoj Kumar, B., 2015. A study of the consumption pattern in a continuous water service demonstration zone and bulk water demand forecasting for Hubli-Dharwad, India. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 5, 201-212. online

Household Economics

  • Burt, Z., and Ray, I. (2014). Storage and Non-Payment: Persistent Informalities Within the Formal Water Supply of Hubli-Dharwad, India. Water Alternatives, 7, 106–120. online
  • Burt, Z.; Ercümen, A.; Billava, N.; Ray, I (2018). From Intermittent to Continuous Service: Costs, Benefits, Equity and Sustainability of Water System Reforms in Hubli-Dharwad, India. World Development, 109, 121–133. online