Mind or Machine? Examining the drivers of residential water end-use efficiency
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Essentially, there are two overarching demand management strategies employed to achieve efficient water consumption in the residential sector. These are: targeting water use behaviour change ("mind") and promoting the use of water-efficient technologies ("machine"). Using detailed water end-use data and qualitative methods, this paper describes the role that each of these strategies has played over the last few years, using data from 250 residential properties located in the south-east corner of Queensland. The role of water-efficient technology (e.g. low-flow shower heads, 4-star-rated clothes-washers) in reducing potable demand will be compared with the importance of attitudes and behaviours to water conservation. Results indicate that how we value water (psycho-social variables) and interact with water-efficient fixtures is at least as important in reducing water consumption in the home as the quality and quantity of water-efficient stock. The paper concludes with some suggestions on how such study outcomes can be relevant to future demand management approaches.
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Water Resources Engineering