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Title page for ETD etd-07282017-103410


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Shumaker, Rachel Lincoln
Author's Email Address rachel.l.shumaker@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07282017-103410
Title Perceptions of Water Quality in Southwestern Bangladesh
Degree Master of Science
Department Earth and Environmental Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jonathan Gilligan Committee Member
Steven Goodbred Committee Member
Keywords
  • Bangladesh
  • Water Quality
  • Bayesian Analysis
Date of Defense 2017-05-11
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Earth and Environmental Sciences

Perceptions of Water Quality in Southwestern Bangladesh

Rachel Shumaker

Thesis under the direction of Professor Jonathan M. Gilligan

Increasing stress on Southwestern Bangladesh has raised concerns about the well-being of the many people living in rural villages living in this region. This has led researchers to focus on the primary source of stress: water quality and water scarcity. However, the dynamic nature of the land and people of Bangladesh require a more interdisciplinary approach when exploring perceptions of water quality access to safe drinking water is affected not only by the chemistry of the water, but also the politics governing access to water and the psychology of people’s perceptions of drinking water. Lack of reliable year-round drinking water sources, coupled with salinity, arsenic contamination, and conversion of paddy fields to shrimp farms all contribute to water scarcity in coastal regions of Bangladesh. In our study area, we found that most people do not have access to safe drinking water, regardless of social or economic status. Despite the poor quality of the drinking water, most people think their water tastes good, so there is a mismatch in perceptions of both taste and saltiness, and water quality. The perception of water quality is not affected by socio-economic status, religion, or gender, and water security remains a challenge even for the relatively well to do.

Approved:

Jonathan Gilligan, Ph.D.

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