Tatsuya Makino · Keigo Noda · Keoduangchai Keokhamphui · Hiromasa Hamada · Kazuo Oki · Taikan Oki
Sustainability 2016;8:538

Environmental effects of industries and plants | Environmental sciences | Renewable energy sources

A community’s water supply is one of its most important infrastructures, as sufficient quality and quantity of water are as much prerequisites for human life as economic development. The rapid urbanization predicted for developing countries will cause serious water shortages in densely populated areas. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is taking precautions by planning and developing their water supply infrastructure to ensure reliable supply of water. We used the five capitals model of sustainable livelihoods to capture how a household makes a living and analyzed the effects of five forms of capital (natural, physical, human, financial, and social) on water consumption behaviors from the perspective of the residents’ livelihood. We conducted a survey to gain an understanding of the thought processes behind water consumption behavior in two villages in suburban Vientiane. The results indicated that natural and physical capital delayed connections to the water supply. Financial capital stimulated the purchase of high-quality water in preference to a connection to the water supply. This lack of connection is not necessarily sustainable in the near future, considering ongoing urbanization. Furthermore, this possibility presents a difficult problem, as residents do not usually acknowledge it. To accomplish sustainable development goals, this gap should be overcome.
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