Promoting the adoption of residential water conservation behaviors as a preventive policy to sustainable urban water management

Shahangian, S.A., Tabesh, M., Yazdanpanah, M., Zobeidi, T., & Raoof, M.A. (2022). Promoting the adoption of residential water conservation behaviors as a preventive policy to sustainable urban water management. Journal of Environmental Management 313 e115005. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.115005.

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Abstract

As concerning with water insecurity driven by water scarcity threatens the lives and livelihoods of humanity worldwide, urban water demand management is focused on promoting residential water conservation behaviors (WCBs) as a critical policy response to water scarcity. However, urban water conservation initiatives cannot be successful unless households involve in residential WCBs voluntarily by adopting water curtailment and/or water-efficiency actions. Thus, understanding motivations and mechanisms underlying accepting these two types of WCBs and interpreting their distinctions are primary policy considerations to make sustainable water consumption behaviors. Hence, the purpose of this research was twofold: (1) To explore intentions to household adoption of water curtailment and water-efficiency actions, key corresponding determinants, and distinctions between them; and (2) To evaluate the capability and robustness of the Health Belief Model (HBM) to explain residential WCBs. The present research design was a cross-sectional survey conducted in Tehran, Iran. The outcomes from structural equation modeling indicated that: (1) Water curtailment intention was solely determined by self-efficacy and perceived benefits; (2) In addition to self-efficacy and perceived benefits, perceived severity, cues to action, and perceived barriers were significantly related to water-efficiency intention; (3) While only perceived susceptibility was not a significant determinant for water-efficiency intention, perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived barriers, and cues to action could not significantly explain water curtailment intention; (4) Self-efficacy also emerged as the strongest predictive variable behind intentions to adopt both WCBs; (5) The perceived barriers had a negative significant relationship only with water-efficiency intention; and (6) The HBM could explain 72% and 61% of the variance in households' intentions to adopt water curtailment and water-efficiency actions, respectively. These outcomes supported that the HBM could propose a reliable and practical heuristic theoretical framework to predict residential WCBs. Moreover, the findings confirmed significant differences among socio-psychological factors behind intentions to household adoption of both WCBs, which need to be addressed. The research results introduced numerous implications from theoretical and policy standpoints for improving residential WCBs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health belief model; Structural equation modeling; Sustainable water consumption behavior; Water curtailment actions; Water security; Water-efficiency actions
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 12:38
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 12:38
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17947

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