Sustainable Water Consumption Patterns and Factors: A Case Study of Income-Related Water Security


  • Zuraini Anang Faculty of Business, Economics, and Social Development, UMT, Malaysia
  • Zulkifli Yusop Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security (IPASA), UTM, Malaysia; Department of Water and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Ashok K. Sharma Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities, Victoria University, Australia; College of Sport, Health and Engineering, Victoria University, Australia
  • Amera Otoum Faculty of Business, Economics, and Social Development, UMT, Malaysia



water security, residential, water consumption, determinant, income group


Water security has become a critical issue worldwide in the 21st century due to rapid population growth, urbanization, and climate change. These factors have affected water availability, particularly for domestic consumption, leading to a potential water crisis. To better understand the factors affecting water security among various income groups and explore water consumption patterns, a study was conducted using a multiple regression model. The dependent variable was water security, and the independent variables were based on socioeconomic characteristics. A total of 571 residents from Malaysia’s higher-income, middle-income, and lowest-income groups participated in the study. The study found that several factors significantly influenced water security, including race, household size, type of house, education, and income. In Johor, household size, type of house, and income explained 65% of the variance in water security for the overall income group. In Terengganu, race, type of house, education, and income explained 96% of the variance in water security for the overall income group. The variable income had a significant relationship with water security, with approximately 0.01% and 0.05% in Johor and 0.10% in Terengganu. These results indicate that socioeconomic factors play a crucial role in water security for both indoor and outdoor activities. Access to water is a basic need that affects the quality of life, especially for drinking water. Therefore, these findings are essential for water operators to manage and educate households through campaigns on sustainable water use and conservation. The lack of availability and access to basic water impedes individuals and communities from achieving a greater quality of life.