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Current Projects

WHD researchers work to create the knowledge, skills and solutions needed to support effective management of water and wastes, and to ensure sustained, equitable access to water supply and sanitation services. Our research addresses issues such as water quality and quantity, sanitation and hygiene, health and resource recovery for energy and food production. 

Research Area: Coastal zones, Human health & medicine, Water quality & treatment
Ali Boehm has been leading a team in developing new methods for deriving risk-based thresholds to define “safe” waters for recreational contact. This is done using quantitative microbial risk assessment to compare the predicted risks from swimming in waters contaminated with pathogens from diverse sources of diverse ages, with distinct pathogen and water quality indicator profiles. The team has examined risks when waters are contaminated with fresh pathogens versus aged pathogens and scenarios of raw sewage, bird feces and treated wastewater.
Research Area: Infrastructure policy & planning
WHD researcher Steve Luby and colleagues in this multi-university project are taking a new approach to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation for all. Working with communities, governments, local leaders and partner institutions the team is co-designing location-specific solutions that integrate green infrastructure, such as constructed wetlands, to strengthen the whole-of-life water and sanitation cycle cross 24 settlements in Fiji and Indonesia.
Research Area: Sanitation & wastewater
WHD is the Strategy Measurement, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) partner, supporting the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (CNHF)’s water team. The project is focused on evaluating CNHF's efforts to implement a Safe Water Strategy as efficiently and effectively as possible. Stanford’s analyses will be based on input gathered from other grantees, non-grantee collaborators and stakeholders in the broader water sector.
Research Area: Sanitation & wastewater
The need for sustainable, clean water sources is being acutely felt in western Uganda as healthcare facilities are facing Ebola. While WASH infrastructure is necessary, adequate training of staff, administrative commitment to WASH promotion, integration with infection prevention and control strategies, and reliable supply chains also factor into improving the safety of healthcare facility environments. We aim to create improved, sustainable, and scalable WASH services in Ugandan healthcare facilities.
Research Area: Infrastructure policy & planning
The objectives of this research are to assess the demand among water user committees and water users for reliable boreholes with handpumps provided by the EverFlow maintenance service. We will also quantify the financial and economic costs and benefits of the EverFlow maintenance service to water users, communities, and local government. The project will contribute new knowledge that informs scaling up EverFlow, and that helps establish the conditions under which such market-based approaches can help address sustainability of rural water infrastructure for the broader sector.

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