Water Resources and Sanitation: An Assessment of Japan and Tanzania

Background 

In the process of data analysis, it is important to describe the properties of whatever data one is collecting. We did this through analyzing national environmental data collected through Yale’s EPI (Environmental Performance Index) method. The two main components of the EPI are environmental health and ecosystem vitality. 9 issues and 20 indicators stem from these two components. A “proximity to target” methodology is used to assess how close a country is to achieving the goal of a certain policy. Targets are standards defined largely by international or national policy goals or well-known scientific thresholds. Benchmark measurements for certain areas like protected ecosystems are based on international policy targets brought about by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Each country surveyed through the EPI receives a score ranging from 0 -100. A country’s “score” determines how close they are to reaching the target of a policy. Countries with a score of 0 are “low performers” thus far from their targets. Countries with a score of 100 are “best performers” meaning that they achieved the target of a policy. We chose to focus on data from the countries of Japan and Tanzania as we expected that they would vary greatly with regards to environmental performance. We compared water sanitation and water resources between these two countries. As Japan is a fully developed country, we expected that it would score higher than Tanzania.

Procedure 

We began by exploring the EPI site by choosing our two issues: one concerning environmental health and the other concerning environmental vitality. We chose water sanitation with relation to environmental health and water resources with regards to environmental vitality. After choosing these, we selected two countries to compare (Japan and Tanzania) that are also places of destination for Lewis & Clark overseas programs. Upon settling on these countries, we downloaded international data sets from the years 2015 and 2007. From this data, we calculated the central tendency and dispersion of our two indicators for all the countries in 2015. We then focused on Japan and Tanzania in particular by assessing how their scores compare to the general central tendency and dispersion. Finally, we compared these two countries to all countries in terms of central tendency and dispersion change between 2007 and 2015. Upon completing this analysis, we created a histogram and tables to communicate our results.

Results 

[iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vToowyiUAple_8wX0p35nthFK7gfTSIrI6aeTxB1vaN9Yz1sJ0w27K4JdGPZzdTod64Riiax2E1X7ZO/pubchart?oid=1763965624&format=interactive”%5D

The histogram above compares the Environmental Vitality of water resources for all the countries surveyed through the EPI. It is shocking to see that almost 50 countries have a score of below 10 in this regard.

[iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vToowyiUAple_8wX0p35nthFK7gfTSIrI6aeTxB1vaN9Yz1sJ0w27K4JdGPZzdTod64Riiax2E1X7ZO/pubchart?oid=1714894683&format=interactive”%5D

The histogram above compares the Environmental Health of water sanitation for all the countries surveyed through the EPI. Although many countries have a ways to go, the majority are leaning towards scores of 60 or above for water sanitation policy goals.

[table id=1 /]

The table above displays the central tendencies and dispersion of water sanitation for all the countries surveyed in 2015. Tanzania and Japan’s scores are listed at the bottom in comparison with the rest of the world. Japan achieved a perfect score of 100 with regards to water sanitation and Tanzania fell far behind Japan as well as the global average with a score of 37.14.

[table id=2 /]

The table above displays the central tendencies and dispersion of water resources for all the countries surveyed in 2015. Tanzania and Japan’s scores are listed at the bottom in comparison with the rest of the world. Japan scored highly in this regard as well with a score of 87.01. Tanzania performed relatively  better on this issue with a score of 45.47 but is still far behind Japan and the global average.

Implications

Upon analyzing the EPI data, it seems like much more progress needs to be made globally with regards to treatment of water resources. We are in generally better shape with regards to water sanitation but several countries need improvement in this area as well. Tanzania needs drastic improvement upon both of these issues as it scored far below average in terms of water sanitation and resources. On the other hand, these results imply that Japan is on top of their game as far as water quality and resources go. Japan received two of the highest scores possible. Drastic and sometimes not so drastic differences between scores regarding water issues displays a wide range national progress across the globe. It will be interesting to see how these scores continue to shift in the future.

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