How do households living in arsenic-contaminated regions value safe drinking water?

Past Event

NCAER hosted an online lecture titled “How do households living in arsenic-contaminated regions value safe drinking water?” presented by Dr. Diptimayee Nayak (Associate Professor at IIT Roorkee) and discussed by Dr. Papia Raj (Associate Professor at IIT Patna), as part of its Virtual Dialogue Room Webinar Series moderated by Dr. Reshma Roshania and chaired by Dr. Souryabrata Mohapatra on Friday, 28 June 2024, at 4:00 pm IST.


Access to safe drinking water is a critical concern, particularly in areas affected by arsenic contamination. The report of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India (2021), reveals that about 24 habitations from five districts of Bihar are affected by arsenic groundwater contamination, impacting about 71,946 population and their health and economic conditions. In this context, the objectives of the present study are to estimate the mean willingness to pay (WTP) for arsenic-free drinking water and determine factors that impact households’ WTP for arsenic-free drinking water in Bihar. The primary data was collected from 300 households following simple random sampling, and villages were selected through a multi-stage sampling method. The study uses a single-bound dichotomous choice method for WTP elicitation and applies a probit model to determine factors affecting households’ WTP for arsenic-free safe drinking water. The mean WTP is estimated to be ₹ 216.68 per household/month, and results find that education, income, health expenditure, awareness level and high-risk exposure to arsenic are the most influential determinants of households’ WTP for arsenic-free drinking water. Hence, the study suggests appropriate interventions by the policymakers in the arsenic-contaminated areas in Bihar.
For more details see :

Speaker notes:

  • “The government must prioritise providing safe drinking water, organise regular health camps and raise community awareness about the risks of arsenic contamination and safe water sources.” – says Dr. Diptimayee Nayak
  • “Health education would be instrumental in motivating communities to develop a positive attitude towards WTP for arsenic-free drinking water, reducing the burden on the public healthcare system in India.” – says Dr. Papia Raj
  • “Communities value safe water. Building awareness on arsenic risk along with ensuring safe water for all is key”– says Dr. Reshma Roshania

Short Bios:

1 Diptimayee is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Roorkee. Her research and teaching span the broad areas of environmental economics and public policy. She earned her doctorate from IIT Delhi and has contributed to the scientific academia by publishing several articles in reputed international journals related to non-market environmental valuations of forest and national park ecosystems, groundwater management, and institutional mechanisms like participatory management for ensuring the sustainability of different ecosystems. Moreover, she has undertaken policy-oriented projects that aid in decision-making for the National Green Tribunal (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation). She has been involved in program evaluation and other important national projects such as Arth Ganga, the Ramganga river ecosystem services, sand mining in the Subarnarekha river, forest fire studies in Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh, and the PM Ujjawala Yojana. She is currently the core instructor of a successful NPTEL course (ID 109107171) on introductory environmental economics.

2 Papia Raj is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Patna. She is a public health expert specialising in social determinants of health. She was the recipient of the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and completed her doctorate from McGill University (Montreal). She was a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). She has received research funding from various national and international organisations, including the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), the National Commission for Women (NCW), the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant (SSHRC, Canada). Dr. Papia has also been a consultant to various international projects. She serves on the editorial board for various journals, including Sage Open (SAGE), Lancet, Frontiers in Public Health, Waste Management and Research (SAGE), Canadian Journal of Public Health, etc. She has been working on health and development issues in Bihar since 2001 and has extensively published her research findings in both national and international journals of great repute and also in leading newspapers, including the Times of India. She has also recently co-authored a book with her spouse and faculty colleague, Dr. Aditya Raj, titled “Discard Studies in India: A Case of Patna.”

For more information, contact:
Souryabrata Mohapatra, PhD (Auckland)

  • Event Date

    28 June 2024
  • Event Type

  • Event Mode