Residential Water Quality and the Spread of COVID-19 in the United States

18 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2020

See all articles by Kelly Hyde

Kelly Hyde

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 9, 2020

Abstract

Sanitation and hygiene practices to limit the spread of COVID-19 require ample water supply, and communities with poor or untrusted residential water infrastructure rely on bottled water retrieved from outside the home. Thus ability to adhere to sanitation and shelter-in-place recommendations may be limited for households lacking a safe, reliable, and trustworthy piped water source. Consistent with this hypothesis, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has grown faster in counties with lower-quality residential water infrastructure. These findings suggest that, in the short run, distribution of potable water to water-poor households may help slow the spread of COVID-19 or ameliorate community health consequences, and in the long run, investment in residential water infrastructure may increase resilience to future pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19, potable water quality, health equity

JEL Classification: I00, I14, Q53

Suggested Citation

Hyde, Kelly, Residential Water Quality and the Spread of COVID-19 in the United States (April 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3572341 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3572341

Kelly Hyde (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

HOME PAGE: http://kdhyde.com

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