An Opportunistic Field Experiment in Community Water Conservation

Watson, R. K., Murphy, M. H., Kilfoyle, F. E. & Moore, S. M. (1999). An opportunistic field experiment in community water conservation. Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 20, 6, 545-560.

This quasi-experimental, 7-yr study evaluated the effectiveness of an educative vs a price-structuring approach to the strategic management of domestic water consumption. The Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior scales of the Water Survey Questionnaire measured the effects of the 2 strategies on water conservation. 2,600 parents, teachers, high school and elementary school students in cross-sectional and longitudinal samples were measured in 3 data gathering rounds at the 1st, 4th, and 7th yrs. In the educative phase between the 1st and 2nd rounds, water conservation increased. Although there was not significant change in behavior, some decline in positive attitudes and intentions occurred during the price structuring phase between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

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