Teevrat Garg on freshwater pollution in Indonesia

Hi, I’m Teevrat Garg, and assistant professor of economics at the School of Global Policy and Strategy and one of the areas that I do work in is in Indonesia, particularly in the case of freshwater pollution, particularly river pollution throughout the country. One of the reasons that this is an incredible problem in Indonesia is that there isn’t enough monitoring and enforcement of water pollution and so data on water pollution isn’t as readily available. Using help from the Center of Global Transformation and the Big Pixel Initiative at UCSD, I was able to work with my colleagues in order to be able to use satellite imagery and hydrological models from other disciplines to be able to recreate an approximation of what this pollution data would look like and thereby come up with estimates of what are the consequences of freshwater pollution in Indonesia. It turns out that something like 8% of all diarrheal deaths in Indonesia can be explained by freshwater pollutions while also providing a methodology that allows us to translate these findings to other countries.

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