Living near safe drinking water is not the same as drinking safe water. Some have argued that anything short of pumping it directly to the kitchen won’t have any health benefits. “Even if the water is clean when you get it from the spring, it can become contaminated in storage at home,” says Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the economics department at Harvard University. In the first randomized evaluation of the health effects of improving water sources alone, without...

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