Exploring Perceptions and Behaviors about Drinking Water in Australia and New Zealand: Is It Risky to Drink Water, When and Why?
AbstractConsumers in most developed countries, including Australia and New Zealand, presume their drinking water is safe. How social perceptions about drinking water are formed, however, remains inadequately explored in the research literature. This research contributes exploratory insights by examining factors that affect consumer perceptions and behaviors. Individual perceptions of drinking water quality and actions undertaken to mitigate perceived risks were collected during 183 face-to-face interviews conducted at six research sites. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed the majority did not consider drinking water a “risky” activity, trusted water management authorities to manage all safety issues and believed self-evaluation of drinking water’s taste and appearance were sufficient measures to ensure safe consumption. Quantitatively, significant relationships emerged between water quality perceptions and sex, employment status, drinking water treatment and trust in government to provide safe water. Expert advice was rarely sought, even by those who believed drinking tap water posed some health risks. Generational differences emerged in media usage for drinking water advice. Finally, precautionary measures taken at home and abroad often failed to meet national drinking water guidelines. Three major conclusions are drawn: a. broad lack of awareness exists about the most suitable and safe water treatment activities, as well as risks posed; b. health literacy and interest may be improved through greater consumer involvement in watershed management; and c. development of health campaigns that clearly communicate drinking water safety messages in a timely, relevant and easily understandable fashion may help mitigate actual risks and dispel myths. View Full-Text
Scifeed alert for new publicationsNever miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
- Get alerts for new papers matching your research
- Find out the new papers from selected authors
- Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
- Define your Scifeed now
Crampton, A.; Ragusa, A.T. Exploring Perceptions and Behaviors about Drinking Water in Australia and New Zealand: Is It Risky to Drink Water, When and Why? Hydrology 2016, 3, 8.
Crampton A, Ragusa AT. Exploring Perceptions and Behaviors about Drinking Water in Australia and New Zealand: Is It Risky to Drink Water, When and Why? Hydrology. 2016; 3(1):8.Chicago/Turabian Style
Crampton, Andrea; Ragusa, Angela T. 2016. "Exploring Perceptions and Behaviors about Drinking Water in Australia and New Zealand: Is It Risky to Drink Water, When and Why?" Hydrology 3, no. 1: 8.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.