Showering behavioural response to alarming visual display monitors: longitudinal mixed method study
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Residential households have the potential to conserve water, especially in behaviourally influenced end uses such as showering. Visual display monitors detailing shower water consumption parameters provide householders with a better understanding of their water use consumption and serve as a prompt to conserve. This longitudinal study first applied high resolution smart meters to create a registry of shower end use event parameters (i.e. shower duration, flow rate and duration) before and after the introduction of an alarming visual display monitor. The study showed a statistically significant mean reduction of 15.40 L (27%) in shower event volumes shortly after the implementation of the shower monitor. However, two subsequent smart metering reads indicated that shower end use water consumption savings diminished over time and mean showering volumes reverted back to their pre-intervention level after 4 months. That is, the longitudinal study provides empirical evidence that technological devices informing resource consumption may not be effective unless instilled habits or attitudes can be also modified; old habits die hard. Follow-up questionnaire surveys allowed for qualitative interpretations of the behavioural findings, through demographic summaries, residents' perceptions on shower monitor performance and their use of device over time, to name a few.
Behaviour & Information Technology
Copyright 2011 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Behaviour and Information Technology, iFirst, Version of record first published: 20 May 2011. Behaviour and Information Technology is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Water Resources Engineering