Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Household water insecurity in a changing climate: The interplay between distance to water, income, caste and gender in rural Rajasthan, India

Octavianti, Thanti; Everard, Mark; Chun, Kwok; Floyd, Nicola; Sharma, Om Prakash; Staddon, Chad; Lewis, Todd; Blackford, Jasmine; Toher, Deirdre


Mark Everard
Associate Professor in Ecosystem Services

Profile Image

Dr Kwok Chun
Lecturer in Environmental Managment

Nicola Floyd

Om Prakash Sharma

Profile Image

Chad Staddon
Professor/Associate Head of Department: Research and Scholarship

Todd Lewis

Jasmine Blackford


Climate change is expected to have a profound impact on Rajasthan’s water resources and consequently on household water security. This study investigates the relationship between socio-economic structures (household income, caste and gender), physical access (distance to a water source) and household water insecurity (measured through the HWISE scale) amongst rural communities in an arid region of Rajasthan state, India and explores the broader implication of changing climate to household water security in the region. Source data was derived from a survey of 565 families in 5 villages in Dudu block (a subdivision of Rajasthan state) conducted by the NGO WaterHarvest and a local NGO partner Prayas Kendra Sansthan Harsoli. Proximity to water source and income were found to be the two most important variables shaping household water insecurity: those living closer to water sources and having high income are likely to be the most water-secure. Caste is also a strong predictor, with those in lower caste categories experiencing low water security. For gender, no significant relation was observed between the number of girls going to school and household water security, but more female members correlate with greater water security. As the region is predicted to experience an increase in temperature and a decrease in annual rainfall (Goyal and Gaur, 2022), there will be a significant threat to the total water resources. The renewed interest in Rajastahani policy focusing on local-scale water recharge practices, such as Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan (‘water self-reliance mission’) (Everard et al., 2018), could be an important contribution to water security. Communities can be supported in resurrecting or translating their traditional knowledge of water harvesting systems into practices that were resilient to both climate-induced changes and economic stressors as well as contemporary lifestyles and conditions.


Octavianti, T., Everard, M., Chun, K., Floyd, N., Sharma, O. P., Staddon, C., …Toher, D. (2023, August). Household water insecurity in a changing climate: The interplay between distance to water, income, caste and gender in rural Rajasthan, India. Paper presented at The RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name The RGS-IBG Annual International Conference
Conference Location London
Start Date Aug 31, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2023
Publicly Available Date Sep 15, 2023
Public URL