Using Louis-Ostrom Comprehensive Capacity Assessment to Analyze Domestic Water Infrastructure in Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh, India

Pailla, Siddhartha, Systems Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Louis, Garrick, Department of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia

Access to safe domestic water supply remains a challenge in much of Rural India. The Nalgonda District in Andhra Pradesh, India has been addressing this challenge through provision of centralized water supply services (CPWSS), groundwater pumps and overhead reservoirs (PWSS), and rainwater harvesting schemes (PWS). Although Indian federal law decrees participation of the Panchayati Raj in water-related issues, there is currently no clear process for assessing and communicating local situation to District and State-level institutional leaders. As such, this limited knowledge has led decision-makers to select ―shotgun‖-type (generally targeted, high-cost, high-impact) solutions; specifically in Nalgonda, large-scale centralized water systems such as the Alimenti Madhava Reddy Water Irrigation Project. This approach may be appropriate for high-capacity communities; however, previous research by Hardin, Louis, Ostrom, Maton, Rogers, and other developing systems-focused researchers indicates that community-specific assessment and policy increases communal ownership and system realization.

This research introduces a participatory, comprehensive, and intra-institutional framework for considering domestic water-related technological solutions. The author first conducts a general feasibility study for Nalgonda‘s domestic water supply in meeting WHO‘s 40 lpcd requirement. Then, the author creates a hybrid framework that combines localized Capacity Factors Analysis (CFA) methodology and larger governance-specific Ostrom‘s framework for assessing socio-ecological systems (SESs). The Louis-Ostrom Comprehensive Capacity Assessment (LOCCA) tool is then used to consider the three major technological solutions currently being used in Nalgonda: CPWSS, PWSS, and RHS. Results indicate that CPWSS may be appropriate for a sub-section of the District, but RHS have a better likelihood of success in more rural communities of Nalgonda.

MS (Master of Science)
Ostrom, water supply, decision framework, developing communities
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