Dynamics of rural water supply in coastal Kerala : a sustainable development view
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This paper examines empirically within sustainable development framework the dynamics of coverage in rural drinking water supply of 180 demand-driven schemes from Malappuram, predominantly a coastal district of Kerala State. The methodology for the analysis comprised (i) multidimensional specification of sustainability in terms of attributes relating to source, technology, quality, finance, institution and hygiene behaviour and (ii) estimation of the degree of sustainability using models of vagueness. Two methods of ‘vagueness’ viz. ‘supervaluationism’ and ‘fuzzy inference system’ were applied to identify systems that are at or below the sustainability line. Results show that sustainability due to source and quality is lower in schemes from non-costal regions, whereas sustainability in dimensions of finance, institution, and hygiene behaviour is lower in coastal regions. Empirical analysis of ‘marginal systems’ indicates that gender participation; female education and income have favourable impact on sustainability of schemes in rural areas. Key words: Sustainable development, Vagueness, Supervaluationism, Degree theory, Fuzzy inference, Rural drinking water supply. JEL Classification: Q56.