measuring Water Quality in the Slums of Mumbai.

The Oasis Test is being utilized by researchers from Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley and Columbia University as part of a study in Mumbai, India that seeks to improve slum residents' access to clean drinking water by helping them secure municipal water connections. The test is being used to examine the quality of drinking water before and after interventions as a measure of their effectiveness. 

Dr. Anjali Thomas Bohlken, Assistant Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affiars, Georgia Tech, and a driving force behind the project had this to say when asked about her experience using Oasis E. coli tests:
"We chose to use the Oasis test because it came highly recommended from fellow researchers and because it was well-packaged and easy to use. Our survey enumerators who had no prior experience with water quality testing were trained in the use of the test and have been able to use the test easily. Data from the initial round of testing are currently being collected and we look forward to gaining insights from these data. We really appreciate the support from the Oasis team in answering our queries."

sparking Behavior Change in Kanpur – E. coli Concentrations Drop by 40% in a Month!

Various approaches have been to explored to improve access to clean water in the developing world, but with little success. Multi-million-dollar public infrastructure projects and distribution of water filters have yielded negligible results. The Oasis Test offers a novel way of approaching this problem: allowing community members to test their own water! 

In January 2017, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, researchers from Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, Duke, UNICEF and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine deployed 3000 Oasis tests in Kanpur, India. In a region where poverty is rampant and resources are limited, they were keen to see if access to these tests would result in improved water quality. They provided no intervention support except for these three suggestions to community members: 1) boil water if it is contaminated 2) store it in a safe storage container 3) wash hands regularly.  

In a single month, mean E. coli counts fell by a staggering 40%. Behavioral outcomes were positive too. In households that used Oasis Tests and received a positive signal, the percent of households using covered water storage containers increased from 93% to 100%, and soap availability for hand-washing increased from 89% to 99%.

This trial clearly demonstrates that even where poverty and illiteracy are rampant, people are able to use the test and interpret its result. Moreover, it offers an inclusive approach to broadening access to clean drinking water in the developing world.