The aim of this Special Issue is to gather evidence on the impact of price policies (PP) and non-price policies (NPP) in shaping residential water use in a context of increased water scarcity. Indeed, a large body of the empirical economic literature on residential water demand has been devoted to measuring the impact of PP (water price increases, use of block rate pricing or peak pricing, etc.). The consensus is that the residential water demand is inelastic with respect to water price, but not perfectly. Given the low water price elasticity, pricing schemes may not always be effective tools for modifying household water behaviors. This is puzzling since increasing the water price is still viewed by public authorities as the most direct economic tool for inducing water conservation behaviors. Additional evidence regarding the use of PP in shaping residential water use is then required. More recently, it has been argued that residential consumers may react to NPP, such as water conservation programs, education campaigns, or smart metering. NPP are based on the idea that residential water users can implement strategies that will result in water savings via changing their individual behaviors. Feedback information based on smart water metering is an example of approach used by some water utilities. There are still large gaps in the knowledge on the residential water demand, and in particular on the impact of PP and NPP on residential water use, household water affordability and water service performance. These topics are addressed in this Special Issue “Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use”.
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