In the face of dissatisfaction with the quality of public water supply, there is significant ‘willingness-to-pay’ for improved services. However, pressuring authorities for public sector investments in water quality services is not the only means at the disposal of households to bring about improvements in drinking water quality. On the one hand, households can invest in purification systems at the level of the individual household. On the other, they can consume bottled water for their drinking needs. Based on a survey of 10,000 households, this paper analyses the determinants of a household's decision to purchase bottled water or invest in a purification system. Negative perceptions of tap water quality (health and taste concerns) affect the decision to purchase bottled water and home purification, with much greater effect on bottled water consumption. The same is true of household income. Household size, the presence of children in the household and length of residence affects the decision to invest in purification, but not bottled water consumption. Concern about solid waste has a negative impact on bottled water consumption, and car ownership has a positive impact.

You do not currently have access to this content.