MANY FAMILIES DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO..
SAFE WATER IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES
Each year, 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity for at least 1 month of the year. This issue is compounded by the fact that, worldwide, 663 million people lack access to an improved water source (and are at high risk for drinking contaminated water). In an effort to better understand the underpinnings of this highly prevalent problem, our research team has developed a working definition of water security that seeks to capture the multi-dimensional aspects of water and its use. Water insecurity is when any dimension (quality, quantity, availability, accessibility) is not achieved.
OUR MISSION: TO DEVELOP A CROSS-CULTURALLY VALIDATED.
SCALE THAT MEASURES HOUSEHOLD-LEVEL WATER INSECURITY
A variety of data and indicators currently capture water availability and quality. However, no scales currently capture the unique experiences of water-insecure individuals. We hope to fill this gap by developing a cross-culturally validated scale that measures household water insecurity. This tool will enable scientists, program developers, and community leaders to determine the magnitude of water insecurity, to track its change over time, and to measure the effectiveness of various interventions.
THE HOUSEHOLD WATER INSECURITY EXPERIENCES (HWISE)..
SCALE PROVIDES CRITICAL, ACTIONABLE DATA
A consortium of 40 international scholars collected data from >8,000 households in 28 sites across 23 countries to develop the HWISE Scale. The 12-item HWISE Scale quantifies experiences of household water insecurity in an equivalent way across low- and middle-income countries. The HWISE Scale only takes 3-5 minutes to ask the simply phrased 12 items. Scores are easily calculated with summation.
The HWISE Scale provides data that can be used to:
- Benchmark the prevalence of water insecurity and identify the most vulnerable populations to effectively target resources and care.
- Assess the role of water in health and well-being, from food insecurity and infectious diseases to economic productivity and environmental wellbeing.
- Facilitate systematic, comparable monitoring and evaluation of water-related interventions.
- Develop policies and support effective evidence-based decision making.