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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 240; doi:10.3390/su9020240

Responding to the Drought: A Spatial Statistical Approach to Investigating Residential Water Consumption in Fresno, California

Department of Geography and City and Regional Planning, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740, USA
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Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

Using data from the 2015 Residential Water Consumption Survey, this study examines residential water-use behavior and attitudes after the recent drought in Fresno, California. Spatial autoregressive models of residential water consumption were estimated, accounting for the effects of social interactions in communities (i.e., neighborhood effects), while controlling for indoor and outdoor house attributes, economic conditions, and attitudes toward water uses. The findings show that the spatial autocorrelations do exist. This suggests that the neighborhood effects can be a useful lever to facilitate initiatives aiming at promoting community engagement on water-saving practices. The results also indicate that a larger house tends to incur more water use, so does the presence of pools. Using a drip irrigation system for watering the backyard can help reduce water consumption. Medium income families turn out to use the least amount of water among different income groups, suggesting that water-saving policies may yield different results among residents of various income levels. Interestingly, respondents who considered themselves heavy water users actually used less water. This implies that the awareness of water importance can significantly influence residents’ water-use behavior and therefore the promotion of a water-saving culture can help reduce residential water consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: residential water consumption; water conservation; water-saving policy; California drought; spatial statistics residential water consumption; water conservation; water-saving policy; California drought; spatial statistics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, C.-H.; Dong, H. Responding to the Drought: A Spatial Statistical Approach to Investigating Residential Water Consumption in Fresno, California. Sustainability 2017, 9, 240.

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