Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Water sources + health

Question
I have a student researcher looking for data on access to water sources in Canada and wanting to link to health outcomes. Ideally, she would like to focus on indigenous communities; but she is really just deciding where to focus and the availability of data will influence her decision. Is it possible to obtain first nations data on water related issues at either the individual or household level?

I started looking at the Survey of Drinking Water Plants and the Households and the Environment Survey, but I’m not sure if I’m on the right track. (By the way, the links in Nesstar to the 2013 HES User Guide and the HES Data Dictionary do not work.)

Answer
Would the First Nations Data Centre have the information your student is looking for? I noticed on their data page there are some stats and visualizations about both water supply and some health indicators. If you need access to microdata there is a cost per access model. I’m not an expert on this particular resource by any means, but there is some contact information for the FNDC Coordinator on this webpage.

The Households and the Environment Survey does indeed have questions on water, however, it does not seem to contain many health outcome indicators on the file.

Have you considered the Aboriginal Peoples Survey? I came across the following table that pointed to the APS as being the source. The APS also has numerous health indicators and health status variables on the file.

In nesstar, you will be able to compare the variables for APS available on the PUMF vs the Masterfile.


The table is from the article: The Health of First Nations Living Off-Reserve, Inuit, and M├ętis Adults in Canada: The Impact of Socio-economic Status on Inequalities in Health
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-622-x/82-622-x2010004-eng.pdf

I did come across these resources:
Health Canada’s site: Drinking Water and Wastewater for First nations and inuit health
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/promotion/public-publique/water-eau-eng.php

Related information links to:
Ensuring Safe Drinking Water in First Nation communities in Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (2003). National Assessment of Water and Wastewater Systems In First Nations Communities - Summary Report

Another (non-Statcan) source that might be useful is the First Nations Regional Health Survey from the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC).
http://fnigc.ca/our-work/regional-health-survey/about-rhs.html

​"The First Nations Regional Health Survey (FNRHS, or RHS for short) is the only First Nations-governed, national health survey in Canada. It collects information about on reserve and northern First Nations communities based on both Western and traditional understandings of health and well-being."

The survey has had several data collection cycles:

Pilot Survey: 1997
Phase 1: 2002/03
Phase 2: 2008/10
Phase 3: 2015/16

It has gathered data on water quality (see 2002/03 Questionnaire excerpt below) as well as many health-related variables.​ Some tables are freely available online from http://data.fnigc.ca/online.​ These seem to be frequency tables of individual variables, not cross-tabulations of multiple variables such as water quality and health variables. That might need to be ordered as a custom tabulation ($) from FNIGC. Not sure.