Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Linda Whiteford, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jaime Corvin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca Zarger, Ph.D.


water governance, climate change, health, women


This thesis sought to explore the perceptions and experiences of Andean women regarding water quality, water scarcity, and health among two communities in Carhuaz province of Ancash, Peru. Household surveys (n=25), semi-structured interviews (n=10), unstructured interviews (n=2), and participant observation were conducted with local women to investigate their concerns and perceptions of water and health. An additional two unstructured interviews were conducted with a local water authority and doctor in order gain another perspective on the issues of water security and health.

The pressure of a changing climate and of a problematic water governance system in Andean Peru create an opening in which to explore local women’s experiences with water and health. Additionally, the socio-history of the region, issues of gender and ethnicity, and the various water users at stake must be considered as they help form the women’s perceptions and experiences. The findings suggest there is concern among women in both communities on water scarcity and water quality. Furthermore, the relationship between diarrhea and community was found to be significant. The results of this study help situate the local experiences within the broader economic and social processes of the region.