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A global agenda for household water security: Measurement, monitoring, and management

Wutich, Amber; Jepson, Wendy E.; Stoler, Justin; Thomson, Patrick; Kooy, Michelle; Brewis, Alexandra; Staddon, Chad; Meehan, Katie


Amber Wutich

Wendy E. Jepson

Justin Stoler

Patrick Thomson

Michelle Kooy

Alexandra Brewis

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

Katie Meehan


Water scholarship has advanced considerably in recent decades. Despite this remarkable progress, water challenges may be growing more quickly than our capacity to solve them. While much progress has been made toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 — water and sanitation for all — new stressors have emerged to threaten this progress. Far from being a problem of the Global South, recent research shows that water insecurity is very much a global phenomenon — and one that has been, until recently, seriously neglected in the Global North. This indicates a strong need for innovative measurement of who experiences water insecurity, new approaches for monitoring the efficacy of water interventions, and more effective management of complex, mobile, and multiple water infrastructures to achieve water security. In this paper, we introduce the Household Water Insecurity approach to addressing these concerns. First, we suggest ways to improve the measurement of water insecurity — pinpointing problems at the household and individual levels — in ways that can inform policymaking with improved precision. Second, we discuss ways that new information and communication technology can improve monitoring and indicate where water infrastructure repairs and investments are most needed. Third, we highlight the need for new approaches to managing complex water infrastructures in more inclusive and democratic ways.


Wutich, A., Jepson, W. E., Stoler, J., Thomson, P., Kooy, M., Brewis, A., …Meehan, K. (2021). A global agenda for household water security: Measurement, monitoring, and management. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 57(4), 530-538.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2021
Online Publication Date May 27, 2021
Publication Date 2021-08
Deposit Date Jun 18, 2021
Journal Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Print ISSN 1093-474X
Electronic ISSN 1752-1688
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 4
Pages 530-538
Keywords Earth-Surface Processes; Ecology; Water Science and Technology
Public URL
Additional Information Received: 2020-08-12; Accepted: 2021-04-18; Published: 2021-05-27