Research Project (Ongoing)

An empirical study on the urban water supply project in Myanmar

Since 1990, 2.1 billion people around the world have had access to improved water and sanitation. However, due to population growth, improvement of living standards and economic development, the demand for water continues to increase and water shortages and water pollution remain problems in many developing countries. In recent years, as urbanization progresses especially in large cities such as capital cities of developing countries, the concentration of the population and the influx of illegal residents occur, resulting the inability to provide appropriate social services such as water supply and sanitation.

The grant aid project, “the Project for Improvement of Water Supply System in Mandalay City”, which is the subject of this research, installed the piped water supply facilities in the southern part of Mandalay City, the second largest city of Myanmar. In the project area, many residents own shallow wells and have used water pumped from the wells for domestic use. For drinking purposes, they mainly purchase bottled water.

Since many households drill and use their private wells, the unrestrained use of groundwater can lead to the depletion of resources, which can be a factor that brings vulnerability and risk to urban residents in the long term. The Mandalay City Development Committee, which is in charge of water supply administration, has installed water supply facilities and increased the piped water connection of households in order to manage water resources for the growing water demand and to improve the standard of living through provision of safe water. Water supply system in urban areas is an indispensable infrastructure for urban development and sustainable growth. On the other hand, even if the connection to piped water supply is achieved, it is uncertain how people will actually use it and what kind of change will occur in their welfare level. The changes in the water use patterns of residents due to the introduction of piped water supply is presumed to be non-uniform.

Based on the concerns of the above issues, this study will analyze the impact of the water supply project by confirming the status of people's water use and their level of satisfaction in the target area of the project and its comparison areas. The result of this research is expected to be used as one of the evidence to foresee the changed situation of water use and expected impacts caused by the water supply projects in urban areas of developing countries.