Water savings or water efficiency? Water-use attitudes and behaviour in rural and regional areas
Graymore, Michelle L. M. and Wallis, Anne M. 2010, Water savings or water efficiency? Water-use attitudes and behaviour in rural and regional areas, International journal of sustainable development & world ecology, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 84-93.
Drought conditions in southwest Victoria, as in other regions of Australia and around the world, have caused the need to reduce water consumption to ensure security of supply into the future. To develop effective water-saving behaviour change strategies, an understanding of people's attitudes to the behaviour, including barriers stopping them from adopting the behaviour, is required. Thus, this paper explores the water-use behaviours and attitudes of rural and regional urban water users in southwest Victoria. A conceptual model of the factors impacting on water use of these users, including drivers and barriers to water saving, is developed. The factors that appear to impact on water-use behaviour not previously identified included the source of water supply (groundwater versus surface water), previous experience with water shortages and trust in the water authority and government. Also, a difference in the drivers for water saving was found, with farmers wanting to be 'water efficient' to keep their business viable and productive, while hobby farmers and residential users were 'saving water' for more altruistic reasons. These findings have implications for development of demand management strategies in this, and other, rural and regional areas. However, the conceptual model has to be tested to determine if it truly reflects factors influencing water-saving behaviour in rural and regional areas.
Field of Research
050209 Natural Resource Management
Socio Economic Objective
960702 Consumption Patterns, Population Issues and the Environment
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