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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Water in Urban Philippines: When Every Drop Counts

Lisa Reyes Mason, Assistant Professor of Social WorkCollege of Social Work

Water is essential for human health and well-being. In many places, access to water is unequally distributed among households and is both an environmental and social concern. In Baguio City, the Philippines, some families can easily obtain the water that they need. Others struggle and must juggle portfolios of water from many sources such as the public utility, private tanker trucks, neighbors, urban springs, rainfall, and their own greywater. This presentation describes the water situation in a Baguio City neighborhood, highlighting water disparities among households and everyday experiences of water insecurity. Examining how specific financial, physical, and social resources relate to water helps explain who gets water, how, and why. To ensure that all families have the water that they need, social programs and policies are needed alongside infrastructure and technology solutions.


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