Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Susan S. Wadley

Honors Reader

Dr. Sudha Raj

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Other Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Water is an essential need for people everywhere, yet its security is increasingly becoming endangered around the world. The escalating global water crisis has profound ramifications for health and livelihood particularly in developing countries like India. India faces enormous development challenges in addressing the needs of a rapidly growing population. The world’s largest democracy, India needs to improve its delivery of public services, especially to the poor and those living in rural areas.

The present study investigates the current public health situation in Rajasthan and the challenges India faces in providing water and health services. Fieldwork was conducted in rural communities in Rajasthan to assess the prevalence of water-borne and sanitation-related diseases, as well as diseases from poor nutrition. Such diseases result from unsafe and/or inadequate supplies of water. In rural areas, people are much less likely to have access to safe water than in urban areas. Rural inhabitants also rely on water to irrigate their land and cultivate their crops. Thus, water is necessary not only for life but to produce food.

This paper will examine water and health issues in India within the broader scope of water issues on the international level. These issues are intricately linked to political forces and governance, and so the notion of responsibility in addressing diseases that result from unsafe water, poor sanitation, and poor nutrition will be discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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