Feasibility of water purification technology in rural areas of developing countries

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Water scarcity is threatening social and economic growth in rural areas of developing countries. There are potential markets for water purification technologies in these regions. The main focus of this article is to evaluate the social, economic and political feasibilities of providing water purification technologies to rural areas of developing countries. The findings of this research can serve as the basis for private investors interested in entering this market. Four representative regions were selected for the study. Economic, demographic, and environmental variables of each region were collected and analyzed along with domestic markets and political information. Rural areas of the developing world are populated with poor people unable to fulfill the basic needs for clean water and sanitation. These people represent an important group of potential users. Due to economic, social, and political risks in these areas, it is difficult to build a strong case for any business or organization focusing on immediate returns on capital investment. A plausible business strategy would be to approach the water purification market as a corporate responsibility and social investing in the short term. This would allow an organization to be well positioned once the economic ability of individuals, governments, and donor agencies are better aligned.

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© 2008 Elsevier Ltd. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.03.002

Publication Title

Journal of Environmental Management