Assessment of household-level adaptation strategies to water stress in southwestern coastal Bangladesh: a counter-factual analysis

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Despite the growing emphasis and global initiatives to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation for all (Sustainable Development
Goal 6), households in coastal areas are at risk of growing water stress across the globe. However, little is known
about households’ adaptation strategies to water stress in coastal areas. This study explores the determinants and impacts
of adaptation strategies to household-level water stress (both drinking and non-drinking), considering the behaviors of adopters
and non-adopters in the southwestern coastal area of Bangladesh. We applied an endogenous switching regression model by
analyzing questionnaire survey datasets (n¼502) to estimate the effect of adopting adaptation strategies on household-level
water stress in four saline-prone coastal sub-districts of Bangladesh. Results reveal six commonly-practiced adaptation strategies:
reducing vegetable production, reducing livestock production, paying more to access water, increasing time for water
collection, preserving water, and using reservoirs to collect water. Determinants such as migration, support from government
and non-government agencies, age, gender, literacy, occupation, income, access to tube wells, and distance from drinking
water sources play a significant role in adopting adaptation strategies. Results from the endogenous switching regression
model denote that adopting all six adaptation strategies appears to significantly reduce household-level water stress. Through
counter-factual analysis, results demonstrate that, on average, households that did not adopt adaptation strategies would have
encountered less water stress if they had. Therefore, determinants that stimulate adaptation strategies will indirectly reduce
household water stress.

Md. Nasif
Md. Sariful
Md. Sarwar
Benzir Huq