An investigation was undertaken to explore two aspects of water demand management strategies. The first aspect involved comparing and contrasting the public’s and expert’s perceptions of various water demand management techniques. The second part of the study involved an examination of people’s attitudes, behaviours, motivations and satisfactions with regard to water conservation. A survey was conducted during the late spring of 1984 which collected data from a random sample of citizens in the communities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario and from the participants in a symposium on water demand management. Data from the 39 public respondents and the 33 expert respondents were analyzed. The results of the comparative analysis indicated that the experts perceive rate structure strategies as being more effective than do the public. Although both groups rated education strategies significantly higher than other demand management options, the experts tended to underestimate the full extent of the public’s belief in reduction. Data from the respondents were also subjected to dimensional analysis and relationships between the dimensions were examined. The results indicate that people hold not one but several conservation related attitudes and they report deriving a series of separate and distinct satisfactions from conservation behaviours. The satisfactions were not global concepts but were quite specific involving, for instance, frugality and participation. These findings have both practical and theoretical relevance. The practical benefits come from the potential to devise more effective demand management techniques. It would seem wise to avoid developing water demand programs which are based upon preconceptions of what the public thinks. It is more effective, and less embarrassing, to discover the differences between the public’s and the experts’ knowledge and preference structure during development of a program than to have these differences surface during implementation of one’s plan. Our theoretical understanding of why people bother to conserve resources may be improved by investigating more than just attitude-behaviour consistency or the effects of extrinsic rewards. More research attention should be given to satisfactions derived from environmentally appropriate behaviour.
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"Much of the WDM research has focused on questions of technical infrastructure or public responses to regulations and pricing (de Young and Robinson 1984; Winpenny 1994; Renwick and Archibald 1998; Rogers et al. 2002). Fewer studies have examined practitioners—the people responsible for implementing WDM within organizations—and their ability and willingness to adopt, implement, and, most critically, to sustain WDM (Sawyer 1983; de Young and Robinson 1984; Wescoat 1986, 1987). The neglect of the social variable—of practitioners' fallibility and influence on decision making and policy—could be one explanation for the limited, sustained success of WDM policies. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Water demand management (WDM) is reconceptualized within a social innovation framework. This social innovation framework encourages new opportunities and investigations about the social capital necessary for successful WDM. Influential elements include the knowledge held by WDM practitioners and the social networks in which they are embedded. These two elements have been neglected in conventional WDM policy and research. A reconceptualization of WDM requires changes in how we use decision makers' tacit knowledge and in how we support social networks for information exchange. It also suggests new ways to overcome implementation barriers in the area of resource management and to improve program sustainability.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Society and Natural Resources
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efforts to promote environmentally appropriate behavior rely on motivation originating from 3 sources: other people, the environment, and one's self. This article examines a particular form of the latter source, intrinsic satisfactions. Nine studies are presented that investigate the multidimensional structure of intrinsic satisfactions and their relationship to reduced consumption behavior. Two categories of intrinsic satisfaction, labeled frugality and participation, are particularly well suited to encouraging such behavior. A third category, competence motivation, is explored in some detail and its dimensional structure is interpreted in terms of 3 dominant themes in the research literature. Connections between intrinsic satisfactions and such concepts as locus of control and altruism are explored, and implications for practitioners are discussed.
Full-text · Article · May 1996 · Environment and Behavior
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This quasi-experimental, seven-year study evaluated the effectiveness of an educative versus a price structuring approach to the strategic management of domestic water consumption. The Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior scales of the Water Survey Questionnaire (Watson, Moore, McLachlan, Bradley and Murphy, 1988) measured the effects of the two strategies on water conservation. Two thousand six hundred parents, teachers, high, and elementary students in cross-sectional and longitudinal samples were measured in three data gathering rounds at the first, fourth, and seventh years. In the educative phase between the first and second rounds, water conservation increased. Although there was no significant change in behavior, some decline in positive attitudes and intentions occurred during the price structuring phase between the second and third rounds. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to other studies. Findings on the stability of inter-group and inter-variable relationships and on the consistency of the measuring instrument across time are also presented and discussed.
Full-text · Article · Jun 1999 · Population and Environment