The cost of coping with intermittent water supply in India-CHART

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This month's chart comes from a presentation by Professor Srinivas Chary, the Director of Urban Government at the Administrative Staff College of India.

No Indian city offers 24/7 water across its service area. The average is around three hours per day. Professor Chary has been researching the direct costs that intermittent supply inflicts on water customers. As the chart shows, rich people cope by spending money on water tanks, pumping systems and under-the-sink filters. Middle-income groups spend less on capital equipment, but more in terms of time and power. The cost of intermittent supply on low-income groups is primarily the opportunity cost of the time they must spend collecting water. Intermittent supply is a corollary of low tariffs and under-funded utilities. If they paid more, it would cost less.