Understanding of consumers' water consumption preferences and environmental consciousness

Paper ID: 
The impact of citizen science on environmental attitudes, behaviour and knowledge
Published under CEST2023
Proceedings ISBN:
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
Theodoridou G., Avramidou P., Kassianidis P., Partalidou M., (Corresponding) Samaras P.
Water is arguably nowadays one of the most important commodities of increasing socio-economic and political value. Several studies have investigated the factors influencing consumers' perception of water quality and water service quality and conclude that are influenced by a constellation of factors both internal and external. In many cases, the assessment of water quality is mainly influenced by organoleptic properties, especially taste whereas other factors are also identified in the literature such as risk perception, water chemicals, familiarity with specific water properties, trust in suppliers and informed consumption provided either by mass media or our personal networks. This study is focused on identifying basic trends in consumer’s preference for drinking water. In particular, the main purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a correlation between the behavior of consumers choosing drinking water and their socio-demographic characteristics or their ecological consciousness towards major environmental challenges that clearly effect the availability and quality of drinking water. To address the research objective, we followed a mixed methods approach in a specific case study area in Greece. Data were obtained from a survey conducted on a random selected sample of 407 consumers in a period between June and September 2022 in the City of Kilkis. Multivariate data analysis was performed to explore the significant factors associated with consumers' choice of drinking water and identify consumer segments with similar consumption behavior based on their socio-demographic characteristics and their attitudes towards environmental issues. A focus group discussion with local experts and policy makers was also useful towards gaining insight. A better understanding of consumers' water consumption preferences and motives can be very useful for all stakeholders involved, as it can contribute to improvements both in water management and in a more effective commercialization in the market, for consumer satisfaction and ecological consciousness. Finally, it can contribute to improvements in consumer services and acceptance of future innovative approached towards water reuse. Acknowledgements: This work has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. The contents of this document can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union or the Programme management structures”.
drinking water, bottled water, purchasing behavior, ecological consciousness