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An action research project has developed a decision-support tool to help deliver arsenic- and salt-free drinking water in Bangladesh. 

What is the best technical solution to deal with arsenic-polluted and saline drinking water in Bangladesh? When is it better to treat the water or to choose an alternative source? A new online support tool and accompanying sourcebook help decision-makers, practitioners and students find the right answers.

The tool presents 26 technical solutions that can either treat or circumvent arsenic- or salt-contaminated water sources. Three mitigation routes are outlined: (i) targeting arsenic- or salt-free groundwater, (ii) treating arsenic- or salt contaminated groundwater, and (iii) disinfecting alternative, non-groundwater sources. Based on the technical, institutional, ecological and socio-economic features of each solution, users are able to select theose that best meet the requirements of a specific location or project.

The decision support tool is the major output of the ASTRA (Aiding Sustainable Water Technology Realization in Arsenic contaminated Areas of Bangladesh) Project. The project is part of the innovation and learning component of the BRAC WASH II programme, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands (EKN/DGIS) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Under the supervision of IRC and BRAC, the Dutch PRACTICA Foundation led the ASTRA consortium, which includes Delft University of Technology, Practical Action Bangladesh and the WASTE Foundation.

For more information on the tool you can contact G.L. Szántó, Practica Foundation at