The drivers of household drinking water choices in Singapore: Evidence from multivariable regression analysis of perceptions and household characteristics
Using data collected from a large household survey in Singapore, from a population that mostly drinks tap water but where the majority of households also boil that water, we investigate the nature and determinants of perceptions of drinking water supplies, and how these relate to water consumption behaviors. We first apply principal components analysis (PCA) to identify common features of water perceptions. We then apply multivariable regression analysis to understand how these common aspects influence drinking water choices. We find strong relationships between perceptions and several behaviors. A perception of higher cost and environmental damage from packaged (bottled or barrelled) water is associated with a higher probability of drinking only water directly from the tap, and lower probability of drinking boiled tap water or packaged water. Households believing that tap water is safe and that packaged water is inconvenient are more likely to only drink tap water directly as well, without boiling or filtering. Our findings suggest that interventions that influence perceptions might offer an effective route for affecting drinking water choices.
Li, L; Araral, E; Jeuland, M
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