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Water 2017, 9(11), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110844

The Impact of Demographic Factors, Beliefs, and Social Influences on Residential Water Consumption and Implications for Non-Price Policies in Urban India

1
Sociotechnical Systems Analysis Laboratory, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, C.B. 7908, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur-302017, Rajasthan, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Abstract

In rapidly growing urban areas in India and the developing world, water demands typically exceed supply. While local governments may implement management programs to reduce demand for freshwater, water savings are dependent on the conservation behaviors of individuals. A household survey is presented here to examine residential water end uses and conservation behaviors in Jaipur, India. The survey explores end uses, engagement in conservation behaviors, and the influence of demographic factors, water sources, beliefs about water, and social pressures on these behaviors are tested. The survey was conducted at 248 households, including 29 households in the slums. Our study finds that while the majority of participants recognize the importance of water conservation, they do not necessarily conserve water themselves. Households report engaging most frequently in water-conservation behaviors that require little effort or financial investment. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results and subsequent pairwise comparisons indicate higher incomes, longer water-supply durations, and the belief that droughts are preventable are positively correlated with overall amenability to adoption of water-conservation behaviors and technology. Binomial logistic regression analysis indicates that being in the age group 26–35, having higher income, and giving a neutral response about the responsibility of the government to provide relief during a drought were all predictors of the installation of dual-flush (DF) toilets. Education levels and water awareness were found to have no correlation with conservation behaviors or amenability to conservation technology adoption. Results are applied to examine their possible implications from a demand-management perspective and provide suggestions for further research and policy decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: residential water consumption; water conservation; water scarcity; water demand management; non-price policies; socio-hydrology; household survey; social norms; South Asia; India residential water consumption; water conservation; water scarcity; water demand management; non-price policies; socio-hydrology; household survey; social norms; South Asia; India
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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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Ramsey, E.; Berglund, E.Z.; Goyal, R. The Impact of Demographic Factors, Beliefs, and Social Influences on Residential Water Consumption and Implications for Non-Price Policies in Urban India. Water 2017, 9, 844.

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