Demand for piped drinking water and a formal sewer system in Bhutan

Ngawang Dendup*, Kuenzang Tshering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we estimate demand for sewage connection and piped drinking water in Bhutan. To estimate household willingness to pay, we use data from a sample of 8968 households surveyed through the Bhutan Living Standard Survey of 2012. A hedonic model is estimated using Heckman two-step procedure to overcome the problem of sample selection bias. On average, households in Thimphu city are willing to pay Nu 452 (USD 7) and Nu 124 (USD 2) per month for piped drinking water connections and sewage, respectively. This translates to 8 and 2% of their monthly household expenditure for water and sewage connection, respectively. The households in Thimphu are willing to pay significantly more than the current joint charge of Nu 78 per month for water and sanitation. There is scope for municipal offices in Bhutan to increase their revenues from public services and to cover potential investment, maintenance and operational costs associated with water and sewage services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-703
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Economics and Policy Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1


  • Bhutan
  • Heckman
  • Hedonic
  • Sewage
  • WTP
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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