PostedFriday, May 24, 2019 at 9:04 AM
In the existing literature on forest science and hydrology, the consensus is that deforestation increases water yield. In this study, instead of focusing on water yield, we directly examine the effect of deforestation on households’ access to clean drinking water in Malawi while controlling various other factors. Our empirical results show that a 1.0-percentage-point increase in deforestation decreases access to clean drinking water by 0.93 percentage points. With this estimated impact, deforestation in the last decade in Malawi (14%) has had the same magnitude of effect on access to clean drinking water as that of a 9% decrease in rainfall. This suggests that the effect of deforestation on access to clean drinking water is not trivial.