Hadjer, Kerstin, Klein, Thamar ORCID: 0000-0002-4815-5031 and Schopp, Marion (2005). Water consumption embedded in its social context, north-western Benin. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 30 (6-7). pp. 357-364. London: Pergamon Press. ISSN 1474-7065

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“All peoples (…) have the right to have access to drinking water in quantities and of a quality equal to their basic needs” (UN Water Conference, Mar Del Plata 1977). According to Population Action International the West African country of Benin has not suffered from either water stress or water scarcity in the past nor will it belong to water-short countries by 2025 [PAI (Population Action International), 2000. Available from: <> (accessed 23.08.04)]. The national average daily water consumption is given as 20 l [World Water Council, 2003. Available from: <http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/Vision/Documents/WestAfrica2.PDF> (accessed 23.08.04)]. This interdisciplinary micro-study of patterns of water consumption in the north of the country shows, however, that in some cases at the level of the household, per capita consumption is much less than the minimum standard quantity of 20 l published by the WHO. The average per capita consumption in the households investigated is 18.7 l. If one deducts consumption by visitors (5%), the value comes to 17.2 l per person. The lowest consumption occurred during the dry season, at only 5.2 l. This discrepancy with national consumption is caused largely by the great influence of the following indicators: seasonality, size of household, access to resources and differences between urban and rural areas. The latter relates not only to differences in the quantities of water consumed and their purposes, but a marked role is also played by the differing consumption of poor and rich households in the urban units of investigation. The correlations identified here between local influences and water consumption show that the scientific investigation of water management and the search for approaches to finding solutions, will in future require more interdisciplinary approaches combining hydrological, climatological, economic and anthropological findings.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Klein, Thamartklein11@uni-koeln.deorcid.org/0000-0002-4815-503195516280
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-496781
DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2005.06.014
Journal or Publication Title: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth
Volume: 30
Number: 6-7
Page Range: pp. 357-364
Date: 2005
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Place of Publication: London
ISSN: 1474-7065
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 4: Außereuropäische Sprachen, Kulturen und Gesellschaften > Institut für Ethnologie
Subjects: Social sciences
Customs, etiquette, folklore
Earth sciences
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/49678


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