Water Resources Management

, Volume 24, Issue 15, pp 4339-4358

First online:

Comparison of Consumer Attitudes Between Cyprus and Latvia: An Evaluation of Effect of Setting on Consumer Preferences in the Water Industry

  • Jonathan ChenowethAffiliated withCentre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey Email author 
  • , Julie BarnettAffiliated withDepartment of Information Systems and Computing, Brunel University
  • , Tereza CapelosAffiliated withDepartment of Politics, University of Surrey
  • , Chris Fife-SchawAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Surrey
  • , Tanika KelayAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Surrey

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Models approaching consumer expectations of their water supplier from a risk perspective suggest that consumers primarily and overwhelmingly want safe drinking water supply. In this study consumer preferences in the water sector are investigated in two contrasting case studies: Cyprus, where there have been significant quantity and continuity of supply issues, and Riga, where there have been water quality issues. While water quality is undoubtedly the main priority of water consumers in Riga, in Cyprus consumers indicate that they prioritise a more reliable service even though many are sufficiently dissatisfied with water quality that they do not drink the tap water. The analysis of consumer attitudes in the two case studies suggests that when water supply is unreliable, reliability takes precedence; once it is reliable quality issues come to the fore.


Consumer expectations Risk Water suppliers Nicosia Cyprus Riga