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Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuations and Property Rights Institutions
Last registered on March 21, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuations and Property Rights Institutions
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001047
Initial registration date
March 21, 2016
Last updated
March 21, 2016 12:21 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Global Innovation Fund
PI Affiliation
Stanford Center for International Development
PI Affiliation
Harvard University and J-PAL
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2004-07-01
End date
2007-03-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Using a randomized evaluation in Kenya, we measure health impacts of spring protection, an investment that improves source water quality. We also estimate households’ valuation of spring protection and simulate the welfare impacts of alternatives to the current system of common property rights in water, which limits incentives for private investment. Spring infrastructure investments reduce fecal contamination by 66%, but household water quality improves less, due to recontamination. Child diarrhea falls by one quarter. Travel-cost based revealed preference estimates of households’ valuations are much smaller than both stated preference valuations and health planners’ valuations, and are consistent with models in which the demand for health is highly income elastic. We estimate that private property norms would generate little additional investment while imposing large static costs due to above-marginal-cost pricing, private property would function better at higher income levels or under water scarcity, and alternative institutions could yield Pareto improvements.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Kremer, Michael et al. 2016. "Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuations and Property Rights Institutions ." AEA RCT Registry. March 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1047-1.0.
Former Citation
Kremer, Michael et al. 2016. "Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuations and Property Rights Institutions ." AEA RCT Registry. March 21. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1047/history/7370.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Approximately 43% of rural Kenyans use springs for drinking water. In this study 200 randomly selected natural springs were given protection by infrastructure construction, installing fencing and drainage, and organizing a user maintenance committee. After the protection, water quality at the spring and user homes was checked along with other household health indicators to see whether the protection had any impact in improving water quality at source and health of the users.
Intervention Start Date
2005-01-01
Intervention End Date
2005-11-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Spring water quality; home water quality; child health and nutrition impacts; behavior changes towards transport, storage and treatment of water
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
(i) Spring water quality: E.coli measured at water source
(ii) Home water quality: E.coli measured at water consumed in sample user homes
(iii) Child health and nutrition: incidence of diarrhea in the past week
(iv) Behavior changes towards water: measured along 12 different characteristics
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Springs for this study were selected from the universe of 535 unprotected springs in Busia and Butere districts. Technical staff visited each site to determine which springs were suitable for protection. Springs known to be seasonally dry were eliminated, as were sites with upstream contaminants (e.g., latrines, graves). From the remaining suitable springs, 200 were randomly selected (using a computer random number generator) to receive protection. The water quality improvement construction was done by partner NGO, International Child Support, over a period of four years. Springs completed in round 1 and round 2 were considered treatment springs and the rest comparison. This resulted in 91 treatment and 93 comparison springs in the final sample.

Users at each spring were asked to name others who also used the spring. When a household was named by two different respondents, it was designated as a “spring user”. Seven to eight households were randomly selected from the “spring user” list of each spring to be included in the sample. The baseline sample size was 1500 households.

Data on spring water quality, household water quality and household health were collected 3-4 months after round 1 of spring protection, 1 year after round 2 of spring protection and five months after the second survey.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer random generator
Randomization Unit
Spring
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
200 springs
Sample size: planned number of observations
1500 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 treatment springs, 100 control springs
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The sample was powered to detect 20% changes in diarrhea incidence.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of California Berkeley
IRB Approval Date
2003-11-21
IRB Approval Number
2003-11-12
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
November 01, 2005, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
March 01, 2007, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
184 springs
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1,354 households
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
91 contol springs, 93 treatment springs
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
SPRING CLEANING: RURAL WATER IMPACTS, VALUATIONS AND PROPERTY RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS

Using a randomized evaluation in Kenya, we measure health impacts of spring protection, an investment that improves source water quality. We also estimate households’ valuation of spring protection and simulate the welfare impacts of alternatives to the current system of common property rights in water, which limits incentives for private investment. Spring infrastructure investments reduce
fecal contamination by 66%, but household water quality improves less, due to recontamination. Child diarrhea falls by one quarter. Travel-cost based revealed preference estimates of households’ valuations are much smaller than both stated preference valuations and health planners’ valuations, and are consistent with models in which the demand for health is highly income elastic. We estimate that private property norms would generate little additional investment while imposing large static costs due to above-marginal-cost pricing, private property would function better at higher income levels or under water scarcity, and alternative institutions could yield Pareto improvements.
Citation
Kremer, Michael, Jessico Leino, Edward Miguel and Alix Peterson Zwane. 2011. "Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts Valuation, and Property Rights Institutions." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 126: 145-205.