ESTIMATION OF WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT SERVICE IMPROVEMENT IN MALAYSIA
As populations increase by leaps and bounds, it places more pressure on the environment and threatening sources of fresh water supplies, it was recognized that the problem of wastewater needed proper management in Malaysia. This study is undertaken to assist the relevant governmental bodies and service providers to identify an improved wastewater management strategy from the consumer perspectives. This paper applies a structural equation model (SEM) to analyze willingness to pay for wastewater treatment services improvement, based on a cross-sectional dataset of 600 randomly selected urban households in Shah Alam, Bangi, Kajang and Banting areas. The study applies focus group discussions, variables such as environmental awareness (green product), household attitude (water consumption), perceptions (sewerage and wastewater treatment services) and service improvements (willingness to pay) were identified. The main results indicate that environmental awareness, household attitude and perceptions on sewerage services have a positive influence on the service improvements. Households attitude on sewerage and wastewater treatment services are the main determinants of willingness to pay and strongly interact (87 percent) with sewerage service improvement. In conclusion, the methodology applied to measure the household attitudes provides valuable information to policy makers regarding main factors that improve wastewater treatment service efficiency.
Keywords: Wastewater; Structural Equation Model; Willingness-To-Pay.
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