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Title: Accounting for sustainability in Bengal : examining arsenic mitigation technologies using Process Analysis Method
Author: Etmannski, Tamara R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 7959
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis shows how the Process Analysis Method (PAM) can be applied to assess technologies used to mitigate arsenic from drinking water in rural India, using a set of sustainability indicators. Stakeholder perspectives, gathered from a fieldwork survey of 933 households in West Bengal in 2012, played a significant role in this assessment. This research found that the ‘Most Important’ issues as specified by the technology users are cost, trust, distance from their home to the clean water source (an indicator of convenience), and understanding the health effects of arsenic. It was also found that none of the ten technologies evaluated are economically viable, as many do not charge user-fees, which creates reliance upon donations to meet recurring costs. Utilisation of a technology is strongly related to sociocultural capital, but in many cases, features that contribute to sociocultural value, like regular testing of the treated water, are not included in the financial budget. It is suggested that increased awareness might change attitudes to arsenic-rich waste and its disposal protocols. This waste is often currently discarded in an uncontrolled manner in the local environment, giving rise to the possibility of point-source recontamination. All technologies proved to have difficulties in dealing with waste, except the Tipot and Dug wells which produce no waste. Of the methods considered, the BESU technology scored highest, but still only with 47-62% of the maximum scores achievable within each domain. This explains the widespread failure of mitigation projects across the region. The indicators and metrics show where improvements can be made. A model scheme based on these findings is outlined which could be applied with the objective of increasing utilisation and improving sustainability. It can be concluded that a product stewardship approach should be taken in regard to design, implementation and operation of the technologies, including the creation of a regulated toxic waste collection and disposal industry.
Supervisor: Darton, Richard C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemical and process engineering ; Engineering & allied sciences ; Asia ; Geochemistry ; Environment ; Science and technology (business & management) ; International and macro-economic development ; Development economics ; Education ; Health and health policy ; Evaluation of social policies,programmes and practice ; arsenic ; India ; West Bengal ; Water ; Groundwater ; Filters ; Mitigation ; Sustainability ; Metrics ; Design ; User-Centered ; Process Analysis Method