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Dear Laurant,

I cannot point you to definate research on this but I remember discussing the issue during my Master's course, Possibly based on work by Feacham and Cairncross. The outcome, which is rather self evident, was that water use increases the closer it gets to the home. When the water source is far away was the household may be limited to one or two buckets a day. This will stay fairly constant until it gets to relatively close as the family will use the same sized containers. Once it within a few hundred meters the use may increase as the family (usually the women) make more trips to the water point. There is a huge jump when you get an outside water source at the house and another huge jump when you get internal plumbing. The relationship between increased water use and better health is at the same time self evident but difficult to prove as there are so many potential routes for faecal oral contamination. If I remember rightly it was said that there were better health impacts from a large quantity of reasonable quality water than from a small quantity of perfect water as it enabled more personal hygiene, washing after toilet etc.

Best regards

Martin Ager