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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF WATER RESOURCES USAGE BY HOUSEHOLDS IN GEORGETOWN-MALAYSIA AND PATTAYA-THAILAND

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Author(s): N. W. Chan

Journal: Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering
ISSN 1735-1979

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 223;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Domestic water management | water demand management | domestic water audit | key water service indicators | willingness to pay

ABSTRACT
Malaysia and Thailand are tropical countries relatively rich in water resources, but both suffer numerous water problems, chief of which is excessive domestic wastage. A lop-sided approach focusing on water supply management and neglecting water demand management have caused water problems to escalate in both countries in recent decades due to population explosion, rapid urbanization, industrial expansion and climate change. As the total quantity of available water is finite but demand increasing at geometrical rates, Malaysia and Thailand are facing water problems which have severe impacts, particularly on women. This study compares the main water issues faced by two cities, Georgetown in Malaysia and Pattaya in Thailand, both medium sized and major tourist destinations. This paper compares various water indicators for both cities, water use characteristics of consumers, and consumers’perception and willingness to pay. It also attempts to highlight the role of gender, documenting how women can manage water via water demand management in addressing water shortages. The paper concludes that water users need to be involved in a bottom-up approach in a sustained national water demand management initiative towards achieving sustainable management of water resources in both cities.
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