Rethinking rural water supply policy in the Punjab, Pakistan

Mir Anjum Altaf, Dale Whittington, Haroon Jamal, V. Kerry Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


This paper provides an analysis of public policy relating to the rural water supply sector in the Punjab, Pakistan. Based on household survey data, it shows that rural water policies have not kept pace with the rapid economic development in this region and that in the absence of adequate public investment households find private sector alternatives to meet their water needs, often at high economic and environmental cost. Using the contingent valuation method for benefit estimation, it is also shown that household willingness to pay for reliable improved services is much higher than assumed. In fact, full cost recovery is quite feasible in many areas of the Punjab. It is recommended that rural water sector strategy be changed from a centralized, supply‐oriented focus to a decentralized, demand‐oriented policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1943-1954
Number of pages12
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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