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Rural Health & Development at the Food-Water Nexus, Stanford University (July 1, 2011 - Present)

More than two-thirds of the population in Africa must leave their home to fetch water for drinking and domestic use. It is estimated that some 40 billion hours of labor each year are spent hauling water, a responsibility often borne by women and children. Cutting the walking time to a water source by just 15 minutes can reduce under-five mortality of children by 11 percent, and slash the prevalence of nutrition-depleting diarrhea by 41 percent.

Water resources management, smallholder food production, poverty, and infectious disease are inextricably connected in the world's poorest regions. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) limited access to water for both productive and domestic uses increases vulnerability to infectious diseases, the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in SSA. Within these complex linkages, identifying intervention points and constructive policy responses requires an understanding of how and the extent to which freshwater supplies and nutrition jointly influences health outcomes. The proposed project, which involves both place-based empirical research and analysis of secondary data, will explore these water-nutrition-health interconnections. It will identify the extent which, and potential causal mechanisms by which, access to domestic and productive water supplies and associated nutritional benefits affect the progression of both HIV and TB among adults living in rural African households.




  • Jenna Davis, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Eran Bendavid, Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine)
  • L. Katrina ole-MoiYoi, Ph.D. Student in Environment and Resources, admitted Autumn 2011
  • Glwadys Aymone Gbetibouo, Postdoctoral Research fellow, Environmental Earth System Science

For More Information:

Principal Investigator:

Rosamond Naylor

Current Research Interests: 
Research Activities:
My research focuses on the environmental and equity dimensions of intensive food production systems, and the food security dimensions of low-input systems. I have been involved in a number of field-level research projects around the world and have published widely on issues related to climate impacts on agriculture, distributed irrigation systems for diversified cropping, nutrient use and loss in agriculture, biotechnology, aquaculture and livestock production, biofuels development, food price volatility, and food policy analysis.

Teaching Activities:...
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