Perceived Quality and Averting Behaviour of Household on Drinking Water
The government of Malaysia has undertaken various measures to improve the quality of drinking water supplied to the people. However, despite of these efforts, quantity and particularly quality is one of the main concerns of Malaysian consumers today. In view of this, a study was conducted to determine their perception of the quality of municipal water and alternative choices of drinking water. A cross-sectional research utilizing survey method was conducted among 250 households residing in Kuantan. The respondents were almost equally represented by both gender and their mean age was 42 years. The two main sources of information on water were television and radio. Overall they rated the municipal drinking water quality as moderately poor with a mean of 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 from very good to very poor. The respondents indicated that aesthetic parameters such as color, odor, taste and were the main problems with the tap water. Although objectively measured figures by the authority indicted that Malaysian municipal water is drinkable without any treatment, data indicated that the respondents from Kuantan used more than kind of averting behavior: boiled tap water (63.2%); filtered tap water (50%), bottled water (52%), filtered and boiled tap water (26%), and treated tap water (19%). The main factors influencing the use of bottled water or filtration system were found to be convenience, guaranteed of quality and improvement of health. Ways of enhancing consumers to adopt a more sustainable pattern of water consumption are proposed.
Keywords: Drinking Water, Consumer, Quality, Behavior
Dr. Aini Mat Said
Head of Department, Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Dr Aini Mat Said joined Universiti Putra Malaysia in 1981 after graduating from the University of Leeds in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. She later obtained Masters Degree in Human Resource Management and PhD in Process Safety and Emergency Management from Universiti Putra Malaysia. He is currently a member of Disaster & Social Crisis Research Network (DS&SCRN, UK), Member of Literati Club (MCB University Press, UK) and a member of Malaysian Consumer and Family Economics Association (MACFEA). Since August 2006, she has been appointed as the Head of the Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, Faculty of Human Ecology,Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Aini has received several awards such as the Emerald Highly Commended Award 2003 and 2004 for her publications titled; “Bright sparklers fire and explosions: the lessons learned, Inter. Journal of Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 11, No. 3”; and for “Environmental concerns, knowledge and practices gap among Malaysian teachers, The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Vol. 4, No. 4” from the Literati Club of the United Kingdom. Recently she was awarded the Gold Medal for her research on Expert system for socio-technical disaster management at 34th International Exhibition of Inventions New Techniques and Products, Geneva 2006 and a Gold Medal at IPTA Research & Development Expo 2005, Kuala Lumpur for her work on Socio-Technical Disaster Model and Operational Guide. She has also won numerous UPM awards on her research in sustainable consumption and consumer issues.
As an academician, Aini’s research interests are in the areas of environmental, safety and emergency management. She has presented many papers at International and National seminars and has also been invited as guess speaker or as session chairperson for various conferences, seminars and workshops. She has published her work in numerous international and national journals, and in books related to environmental education, sustainable consumption, emergency and disaster management.