Public participation in local water councils is one method to involve different actors in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. In this study we investigate which beliefs explain why the public participate and also how motives to participate are related to willingness to comply with decisions related to the water management framework. In total 910 respondents answered a web survey regarding their participation in the council work. Structural equation modelling was conducted with willingness to comply and motives to participate as the main dependent latent constructs. Other included latent constructs were perceived need for change, fairness, trust, and social and personal norms. The results show that motives to participate did not have an effect on willingness to comply. Perceived need for change had indirect effects on nearly all latent constructs in the model, and personal norms and social norms (through personal norms) had an effect on willingness to comply. The results are discussed in the context of water management methods.

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