Understanding drivers and barriers: the key to water use behaviour change

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In southwest Victoria, like many other regions in Australia, drought, climate change and population growth have exposed gaps in water supply. To develop effective demand management strategies for rural and regional areas, this paper investigates the drivers and barriers to water saving in southwest Victoria. Although the majority of people felt water saving was important, the drivers for water saving differed between different groups. Residential users were saving water for altruistic reasons, while for farmers the drivers were farm viability and productivity. Although the barriers differed between property types, common barriers included lack of understanding of the impact their water use has on supplies, lack of knowledge, the pricing system and distrust of the water authority. The findings provide information for effective demand management strategies for the region.

Keywords: behaviour change, demand management, efficient use, water saving, water supply

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