The aim of this study is to determine the general drinking water consumption pattern in Mysore city, Karnataka, South India with special reference to cold water (without boiling), and to construct a data base for water consumption habits of Mysore people. In developing countries microbial risk assessment studies, water intake values are often adopted from developed countries. However, these values may not be suitable for the risk characterization of human populations from tropical regions of developing countries. Hence, the present study aimed to assess the water consumption pattern among the general population in Mysore city as a first attempt in this region. To compare seasonal variations in water consumption patterns, our study was carried in two major seasons, i.e. in the summer (n = 1,256) and winter (n = 1,230) of 2012–2013. Cold water intake rates were assessed by age, gender and season. The results of this study indicate that the average cold water consumption rate during the summer was 1.12 L/day per person and in the winter season was 0.92 L/day per person. The present survey study is believed to be the first attempt to quantify the intake of cold water consumption in Mysore city, Karnataka, South India.

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