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Choosing bottled over tapped: Drinking water in the Dominican Republic
Authors: John D. McLennan
Source: Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 5 (1): 9–16; DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2014.076
Topic(s): Water treatment
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
  Dominican Republic
Published: NOV 2014
Abstract: While not designated as an improved drinking water source, bottled water is increasingly used by households in low- and middle-income countries as families strive to obtain perceived safer drinking water. The Dominican Republic has high levels of bottled water use despite high levels of piped water access. This study aimed to identify household characteristics that are associated with choosing bottled over tapped drinking water in the Dominican Republic through further examination of data available from a nationally representative Demographic and Healthy Survey from 2007. Among households reporting tapped water as their primary non-drinking water source, 59.6% identified bottled water as their principal drinking water source in comparison with 24.7% identifying tapped water. Greater wealth explained the largest amount of variance in bottled over tapped drinking water. Other hypothesized variables related to choosing bottled over tapped included residence in more urban settings, having a young child in the household, having fewer persons in the household, and a head of household who is female, younger and with higher education. Nationally, representative data which include components investigating perceptions about drinking water and actual quality of drinking water are required to further understand this phenomenon and its impact. Keywords: bottled water, domestic water consumption, Dominican Republic, drinking water