Back To Resource Library

User Guide: Household Water Insecurity Experiences

Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE)
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Tools & Manuals

The Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) is a 12-item HWISE Scale that quantifies experiences of household water insecurity in an equivalent way across low- and middle-income countries. The HWISE Scale takes 3-5 minutes to ask the simply phrased 12 items. Scores are easily calculated with a summation. A consortium of 40 international scholars collected data from >8,000 households in 28 sites across 23 countries to develop the HWISE Scale. As problems with water become more common and severe, the data that the Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale generates can guide the international community’s ambitious development agenda by contributing an evidence base for clinical, public health, and policy recommendations regarding water. 

This manual provides guidance on how to adapt, implement, and interpret results generated from the HWISE Scale. The HWISE Scale asks respondents to reflect on experiences of water availability, accessibility, use, acceptability, and reliability throughout the prior four weeks. The HWISE Scale assumes that households with greater water insecurity will affirm more experiences and/or affirm a greater frequency of experiences. Information on the development, implementation, and validation of the HWISE Scale can be found elsewhere.

You can now access the open-access paper that describes the scale development by clicking here. 

You can learn more about the household water insecurity experiences research community by visiting and learn more about the scale by visiting