health impacts of water resources development

Water resources development for hydropower or agriculture, intended for increased well-being,  may actually pose health risks.  Forced migration and crowding elsewhere, transmission of water-related diseases such as malaria and zoonotic epidemics such as avian flu are examples.  In many cases, these health risks can be prevented or mitigated and human health enhanced.  Integrated approaches such as One Health, looking at human, animal, and ecosystem health help to understand the complex interactions between people, their water use behavior, domestic and wild animals, and the natural, agricultural and human (such as cities) ecosystems around them.  water health combines trans-disciplinary science with local knowledge, often acquired trough participatory methods, into practical solutions such as environmental management of mosquito larvae.


water health participated in the second comparative Water & Health workshop, organised by the International Consortium for Comparative Water and Development Studies on 13 and 14 December 2012, at ZEF in Bonn, Germany


Boerlijst SP, Johnston E, Ummels A, Krol L, Boelee E, van Bodegom PM, Schrama MJJ (2022) Biting the hand that feeds: anthropogenic drivers interactively make mosquitoes thrive. Science of the Total Environment 858(2): 159716.

Yohannes M, Abebe Z, Boelee E (2019) Prevalence and environmental determinants of cutaneous leishmaniasis in rural communities in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13 (9): e0007722.

Boelee E, Yohannes M, Poda J-N, McCartney M, Cecchi P, Kibret S, Hagos F, Laamrani H (2013) Options for water storage and rainwater harvesting to improve health and resilience against climate change in Africa. Regional Environmental Change 13(3): 509-519.

Cools J, Diallo M, Boelee E, Liersch S, Coertjens D, Vandenberghe V, Kone B (2012) Integrating human health into wetland management for the Inner Niger Delta, Mali. Environmental Science & Policy.

Kibret S, Lautze J, Boelee E, McCartney M (2012) How does an Ethiopia dam increase malaria? Entomological determinants around the Koka reservoir. Tropical Medicine and International Health 17 (11): 1320-1328.

Water-related health risks in agroecosystems, presentation at the workshop on Health and Food Security at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, 29 August 2012.

Q Fever in Africa and Asia: a systematic literature review and mapping of disease - by Delia Grace, Pamela Ochungo and Eline Boelee. Poster presented at International Q fever symposium, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 7 June 2012.