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Attempts to promote residential water conservation with educational, behavioral and engineering strategies

Abstract

The water meters of 129 residences were read for 70 consecutive days. After five weeks of baseline, state-of-the-art education, feedback, and engineering interventions were applied according to the factorial design: 2(Education versus No Education) × 2(Daily Consumption Feedback versus No Feedback) × 2(Low Cost Conservation Devices versus No Devices). Significant water savings occurred following only the installation of low cost water conservation devices, although the amount of water saved with these devices (a daily average of 17 gallons) was much less than expected. The findings are discussed with reference to the development of cost-effective water conservation programs.

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Additional information

This research was supported by Grant No. SPI-8003981 from the National Science Foundation. The authors are sincerely grateful for professional advice from Drs. Richard A. Winett and Jerard F. Kehoe, and for the special data collection efforts of Lisa Barnett, Steven Churchill, Edward Fleder, Lisa Paterson, Susan Pelton, Stephen Rodock, Jeffrey Shilling, Kenneth Spitz, and Elizabeth Talbott. Reprint requests should be addressed to Scott Geller, Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061. All booklet, questionnaire and information materials used in the study are available upon request from the first author.

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Geller, E.S., Erickson, J.B. & Buttram, B.A. Attempts to promote residential water conservation with educational, behavioral and engineering strategies. Popul Environ 6, 96–112 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01362290

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Keywords

  • Factorial Design
  • Water Conservation
  • Residential Water
  • Engineering Intervention
  • Engineering Strategy