Identifying the demographic factors that affect patterns is very important for determining drinking water sources within a community. Previous empirical studies mainly focussed on demographic factors affecting water demand in urban and semi-urban areas facing water shortage with little rainfall. However, studies on water consumption in tropical regions (average annual ∼4,000 mm) is limited. This study aims to investigate relationships between drinking water patterns and demographic factors for Kuching community, Sarawak, Malaysia. Survey data were collected from 100 respondents using structured questionnaires through mail, drop-off and telephone surveys in March–December 2016. Results revealed that drinking water patterns are significantly correlated with source, income and education level. 46% of respondents preferred tap water as their drinking water source, followed by 31% for in-home water-treatment devices, 19% chose bottled water and only 4% still drink raw water. In terms of income and education level, 25% of respondents with diploma, degree and postgraduate academic qualifications, quantified as higher income group, installed in-home water-treatment devices. 21% of respondents with monthly income more than RM2500 also initiated installation of in-home water-treatment devices. In contrast, age, gender and religion were found to have little affect on drinking-water consumption patterns.

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