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Title: Drinking water practices in Amazonian Peru : exploring the link between perceived and actual drinking water quality
Author: Furlong, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 3751
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2010
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Perceived drinking water quality is a factor known to cause the failure of drinking water schemes in developing countries. This leads to the loss of health benefits which are the main aims of such schemes. This thesis examines the relationship between perceived and actual drinking water quality and the factors which feed into perceived drinking water quality in a developing countries context. A mixed methodology approach was used which included the use of the following methods: a questionnaire (n=96), participant observations, interviews, a media study, analysis of other texts, sanitary surveys, and analysis of source (2006 n=32, 2007 n=70) and household (2006 n=58, 2007 n=91) water samples for thermotolerant coliforms, chlorine, pH, turbidity and colour. The drinking water situation was found to be more complex than originally thought and drinking water practices were found to be supply driven. The quality of water at the source had little influence on the quality of water drunk in the household, as water was becoming contaminated during collection and in the home. Household water managers prioritised the importance of the different water sanitation and hygiene interventions as the water situation changed, but the rating of drinking water quality remained consistent and was rated as the most important intervention in both periods. The factors that were associated with perceived drinking water quality significantly changed from 2006 to 2007, but the importance of perceived drinking water quality remained consistent. Therefore the factors that influenced the perception of drinking water quality were not fixed and were responsive to changes in the water situation in the community. A surprising relationship was found between perceived and actual drinking water quality, which can be attributed to chlorine being associated with ‘good’ drinking water.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available